Freelancing vs Full-Time Job

Freelancing vs Full-Time Job: The Pros and Cons [Expert Opinions]

If I give you an option to choose from working as a freelancer and full-time job, which one would you like to go for?

Chances are, you might get overwhelmed thinking that freelancing is better than a full-time job or vice versa. A lot of people have this question in their minds and look to forward find solutions to their doubts and queries related to it.

There’s no universal solution to the question “which one is better than the other?” So we asked experts about the pros and cons of both, to help you think and decide which one is right for you at this point in time.

Here are the responses:

 

John Bedford
Founder & Editor at Viva Flavor

As a full-time worker you’re essentially trading financial potential for financial security, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The decision of whether to go freelance or full-time is a question of personality type and preferences as much as anything else.

If you enjoy taking responsibility for not just completing your work well but also *securing* it, then it’s a very rewarding way to live your life. It also comes with additional pressure and uncertainty though, and outside of client contact, you’ll need to be comfortable working in isolation.

Given the economic uncertainty ahead of us all, I expect more full-time workers will begin exploring freelance work – if only to provide a cushion in the event of redundancy. If you’re considering this, check your contract carefully and be particularly wary of breaching any non-compete clauses.

It is a lot easier to launch a freelance career off the back of a salaried full-time career. You’ll have a clear set of recognized skills, as well as professional connections that will be invaluable in securing those vital early gigs.

 

Joe Flanagan
Lead App Developer at GetSongbpm

When it comes to comparing freelancing to a full-time job, there are pros and cons to each.

Freelancing – you set your schedule and ultimately write your own paycheck. The downside is there will always be a risk of low clientele, which means limited income.

Full-time job – you have a stable income and you are assured of work on a daily basis. The downside is a set schedule that needs to be followed.

The freedom that comes with freelancing is definitely something to look forward to – but only if you are willing to put in the effort it takes to make it in this world.

Bottom Line: Freelancing has benefits over a full-time job, but there are also high risks that you take.

 

Nicole Caba
Founder & CEO at Avvinue

Being a freelancer is a rewarding experience, as it allows you to set your own hours, focus on the type of work you enjoy, and the ability to take advantage of geo-arbitrage (making money in a stronger currency than where you live). But the downside is that you have to focus on the back office work in marketing for clients, retaining clients, and getting inundated with billing, which is where a full-time job is better.

So if you’re looking for an adventure and understand the nuances and unpredictability of your next paycheck, then freelancing is great. Otherwise, take a safe bet and find reliable employment.

 

Domantas Gudeliauskas
Marketing Manager at Zyro

When discussing freelance work vs. a full-time position, people often forget to take into account opportunities.

When freelancing, you’ll be able to set your own rates on projects, which means you’ll probably be earning more per project than you would on an hourly wage. That’s pretty great, sure, but on the other hand, you’ll be doing your own taxes. Additionally, it might be harder to scale your pricing up, given the fact that there’s been a massive surge of talented freelancers during the COVID pandemic.

A full-time job, on the other hand, provides a steady, if most likely slower pay grade climb. While the stability is nice, the time investment might not be for everyone.

However, for me, the biggest benefit of working full-time for a company is the chance to go to conferences and to receive learning material. Many modern companies send out their employees to conferences or offer SkillShare, or other learning service accounts along with an office library, where you can order books. The ability to have these learning experiences and an environment where you can further develop with co-workers is what makes me prefer full-time work.

 

Mikkel Andreassen
Customer Experience Manager at Dixa

Personally, freelancing was great when I was younger and I had a lot of fun traveling as a digital nomad while I worked. I had lots of flexibility and freedom in my personal life so it was a great experience. However, it also had it’s up and downs since clients come and go, so you need to always be on your toes financially.

Nowadays, I work full-time at Dixa and I couldn’t be happier with my job. Having a regular job allows me more consistency in my personal life, which is important not only to me but for my family. When you are employed full-time it’s easier to balance your life, since you feel more secure financially, knowing that one bad week won’t affect your ability to pay next month’s rent.

So I would say if you are young, single, and enjoy traveling, freelancing is for you. For those of us in the later stages of life that need to factor the need for financial stability and career progression, then a full-time job is a better option. At the end of the day, my advice would be to choose what will make you happy and more fulfilled, no matter which direction you choose to go in any career.

 

Andrew Cabasso
Co-Founder at Postaga

I have freelanced and also had a full-time job. There are pros and cons to each. In particular, the biggest benefits to a full-time job are that you have a salary where you know how much money you are going to make each month, you have health insurance (if you are in the United States), and, for the most part, you can clock-out after your workday is over. However, as a full-time employee, you are working for someone else, working on their business, where they want you to work from, on the hours they demand, having to follow their instructions and do the work they require of you.

As a freelancer, you have much more autonomy and control over your work – the actual work you do, the hours and days you work. If you want to take a 6-week vacation, you can. The main drawback to freelancing is in addition to having your work projects to do, you also now have to do business development, sales, customer service, and accounting. You have to find clients, retain them, do work for them, and provide support. As a freelancer, you are running your own business and every aspect of that business falls to you to complete. It can often be challenging to step away from the business or clock out because *you* are the business and there are always things that need to be worked on.

Freelancing has higher risk and can come with more stress, but also potentially greater reward and flexibility. As a freelancer, you will get wider exposure to all aspects of running a business, and become more self-reliant. However, the stress that comes from running your own business and having to handle all aspects of it can be a lot to deal with and should not be discounted.

 

Samantha Moss
Editor & Content Ambassador at Romantific

Freelancing and full-time jobs have their own advantages but it actually depends on the situation and the perspective of the person who has experienced the said jobs. I have been through both and I believe that it entirely depends on how you want to work and the career that you want to pursue.

Here are the pros and cons of each:

Freelancing:

Pros- The flexibility in work is what freelancing is famous for and how you are being your own boss. Opportunities are overwhelming in this job career and when the moment you hit a jackpot, the benefits are all for you.

Cons- Disadvantages of freelancing are unstable money issues and unstructured days. Full-time jobs have their own task to follow while freelancing tends to be more tedious because of the work schedule and the ability to being focused is affected.

Full-Time job:

Pros- The fixed salary system is what motivates people to work in a full-time job. Employees are not afraid of the uncertainty in earning money and job leaves are actually paid. You don’t have to work in various jobs since you have a full-time job with a lot of perks.

Cons- In a full-time job, the lack of flexibility and career growth are its biggest disadvantages. You are not able to explore your own potential and the tasks are monotonous which can be exhausting.

Though both are good at earning money, it depends on the person’s choice and the decision is ultimately theirs.

 

Natalia Cieslak
Director at Appjobs

The emerging trend which we have identified at Appjobs Institute is that freelancing will be one of the most common forms of employment in the future. Data shows that by 2027, the number of freelancers will exceed the number of people that are in traditional employment in the US (Edelman Intelligence).

This is not just a trend created by people’s desire to have more freedom and flexibility at work. It is also driven by companies who realize the benefits of hiring workers to suit their fluctuating demands.

This idea was explained by Ronald Coase, who argued that the optimal size of a company is dependent on the relationship between both internal and external transaction costs. Today, some industries are already experiencing a decrease in external transaction costs. These costs are reduced by hiring one-time help rather than a full-time permanent employee for specific operations. As technology continues to advance, we can see that the external transaction costs will continue to diminish. Therefore, the trend going forward will be that there will be dramatically more freelancers than corporate workers, which results in a one-person operation being the optimal situation for a company.

In February 2020, Appjobs issued a survey to its members to learn more about challenges within the gig economy. Out of 1300 responses, these are the conclusions we can draw:

– 25% stated missing interaction with colleagues
– 22% stated the lack of training and development as well as the inability to access credit and loans
– 16% stated the lack of pension plans or form of retirement
– 15% stated the lack of access to insurance
– 13%, stated the lack of feeling of belonging within the corporation or business
– 10%, stated less job security

Freelance means you’re often free to choose the projects you work on and where to work from. This is a great pro for people with those kinds of skills. It’s important to stress that it’s not always the same pros for gig workers who work blue-collar jobs, who seldom have the same variety of choices. As a freelancer, you have to think about how your income will change and plan for the year ahead. You probably want some vacation and you probably won’t be fully booked every hour that you are free to work. It is important that you have a budget that includes around 9 months of income, so you have a more solid contingency plan.

For young professionals, it’s important to prepare for a labor market that is going through a transformation and where you probably won’t have the same level of job security as you may have had previously. This means you need to be ready to move between different companies and different tasks at a faster speed to keep up with the demands that come with the future of work.

 

Melanie Musson
Insurance Expert and Writer at QuickQuote

The biggest pro of freelancing is that you control what you do. You can pick hours that work best for your situation and you can pick jobs that you want. Freedom in freelancing is what makes it so appealing. There are cons though, and one of the biggest is that you don’t get benefits that often come with a full-time job like paid time off, sick leave, health insurance.

With freelance work, you may be able to get around paid time off by working on your vacation, but if you want to take a true vacation, you will have to budget for it. If insurance is important to you and especially if you have children and want them to be covered, a full-time job may have to be what you do. If you have a partner with a full-time job with benefits, you can more easily work freelance while taking advantage of their benefits.

Because both options – freelancing and full-timing – have appealing aspects, I think you will see both continuing steadily. If more people choose to work as freelancers, you can expect to see insurance options grow. It is possible that freelance workers could unite into a sort of union where they’re able to continue working for themselves while also paying dues and have access to benefits.

 

Michael Sena
Company Director at SENACEA Ltd

With full-time work comes stability, access to otherwise costly tools, know-how, training & support. The downside is that your learning curve and the work you do might often be dependent on your manager and company’s pipelines. You might also have limited ability to delegate or outsource tasks you don’t enjoy or succeed with.

Freelancing allows you to structure the use of your talents the way you can focus on what you are best at and thus earn more in hourly terms. You need however to be disciplined and sufficiently knowledgeable of other business aspects such as regulation, taxation, or marketing. Your income will also likely vary from month to month.

The choice between the two depends primarily on your risk appetite and commercial acumen. If you value your independence over stability, choose to freelance, but remember that your clients and the market will hold you responsible. If you are dreaded by the vision of unstable income and having to structure all the aspects of your work, work full time. Most of the people making that choice would be somewhere in the middle and the best course of action would be to try combining or alternating both. Depending on your profession, you can also choose the type of freelancing letting you focus on work only by outsourcing marketing, sales, accounting, and other non-core activities or even having intermediary finding contracts for you.

Nevertheless, the future seems to be favorable for freelancers. Companies and clients more and more often perceive flexible and remote work as a viable arrangement and focus on results more than the means of achieving them. Even when you are not in a position to resign from your full-time job, you have great chances of influencing your employer to give you more flexibility with remote working, choosing your projects, or methodology of work.

 

Kenzi Wood
Marketing Writer at Kenzi Writes

I’ve been self-employed going on for two years and I love it. But before that, I was employed as a marketer for 5 years at various agencies. The great thing about being an employee is that (hopefully) you can rely on a paycheck, benefits, and a fairly predictable workflow. But I really didn’t like how much control I was giving up; I had to darn near sign my life away to get a day off work! As a fast worker, I was also frustrated that I had to make 4 hours of work last 8 hours. It was incredibly inefficient in my mind.

Self-employment comes with more freedom, but it also requires discipline and taking on a lot of responsibility. There’s a steep learning curve with laws, taxes, and things of that nature. The more you learn about business operations and accounting, the better off you’ll be. Your paycheck is always in flux, and it’s on you to bring home the bacon. If you have a few slow months, it can be incredibly stressful. But even then, the ability to work when I want, where I want, has been a blessing both to myself and my family.

 

Joseph William
Manager Support Services at Firestick Hacks

Freelancing is actually one of the highest growing industries in the world today. Look at all the new freelancing sites popping out everywhere. People are leaving their day jobs to work from home and triple their monthly paycheck. However, not all find success at freelancing. Most new freelancers fail because of three main reasons:

  • Assuming they can make money by sitting in front of a computer
  • Inability to find clients
  • Not taking the job seriously enough

Before we get into the Part-Time vs Full-Time freelancing battle or learn how to start freelancing, let’s talk about some of the things you can expect as a freelancer.

*Freelancers Work More Than Most Regular Employees*

If you think that freelancing is all about sitting in front of a computer and transferring money to your PayPal, then you can forget about becoming a freelancer. Freelancers actually work more than most people who work at day jobs. At a day job, your boss tells you what to do. Leave all the jobs at your desk to complete and gives out your paycheck at the end of every month.

Freelancers, on the other hand, have to find their own work. Surfing through the web every day, promoting themselves on social media, and handling big projects all by themselves. To make things worse, we also have to chase after the clients to get paid as well. Which happens more often than you might think.

*Get Your Feet Wet First*

In short, part-time freelancing is for newbies. It’s for people who want to make some extra money while getting their paycheck from the day job, for people who prefer to have financial security.

Whenever someone asks if they could become a freelancer, I always advise them to do it part-time at first. Just to get their feet wet and see if they’re really up for it. And if you’re planning on earning more money, yet not willing to risk your job and your financial security. Then I’ll give you the same advice. Do some part-time freelancing. See how it goes.

Of course, most part-time freelancers end up going full-time. Why? Because it’s a hell of a lot more fun.

*Before Getting Started As A Freelancer*

If you choose to try part-time freelancing – Don’t make the mistake of doing it as a hobby. And don’t work during your free time. Take your freelancing job more seriously. Your clients will depend on you to deliver the work on time. Don’t expect them to give you a break when you miss your deadline just because of your inability to balance work and life.

Plan ahead. Work out how many hours you can invest in your part-time job. Research the market to see if your skills are marketable and have enough demand. And find the best places to work part-time that also suits your skills.

If you decide to go full-time freelancing – Don’t quit your job right away. First, save a little bit of extra money. Your first couple of months as a freelancer is going to get rough. So make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses, just in case. Do some research online and figure out how big of a demand there is for your skills. See if it’s enough for you to pay your bills.

Contact a couple of clients and try to get a project or two to work on before leaving your job. So that you can be sure to have an income at the end of the month.

*The Best Path To Take*

You don’t have to give up your day job to become a freelancer. If your paycheck from the day job is enough to cover your expenses, do part-time freelancing to earn a little extra cash without risking your finances.

Go full-time when you feel confident about your skills and have enough demand for your expertise. Or, if you’re unemployed, just dive head-on and do your best. Whatever you do, never give up!

 

Final Thoughts:

Both the freelancing and a full-time job has its advantages and disadvantages. It largely depends on the choices and needs that you have and your personality traits. Though the economic landscape is rapidly changing, there are plenty of career options available these days than ever. In the end, both options will give you a rich amount of experience.

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Abhishek Kumar

https://dignitas.digital/

Abhishek Kumar Shankhwar is a Digital Marketing Manager as well as an enthusiastic blogger specializing. He manages and writes on a wellness blog healthystic.com. In his meantime, you will find him reading books on spirituality or cooking delicious food in the kitchen.