by Clair Chaytors
Recent employment statistics reveal that, out of a record 4.63 million self-employed in the UK, around 1.9 million of these people are estimated to be freelancers! The freelancing route has indeed become one of the most popular ways to work in the twenty-first century.
A huge amount of negativity continues to shroud freelancing, yet is too often based on incorrect perceptions. For those of us riding this exciting career path, there are many positive aspects that never seem to get the exposure they deserve. So, here are ten advantages to bucking the norm and choosing the alternative route of freelancing:
1. Freelancers are their own boss
What many employees can only dream about, for freelancers it’s a reality. You are your own boss; you have no-one to report to and no-one to answer to. You will never again be overlooked for promotion and your hard work will no longer go unnoticed. You have made it; the only limits now are the ones you choose to place on yourself.
2. Freelancers do not face the dreaded commute
That time wasting, long-winded commute back and forth to the office every working day no longer applies when you are freelance. There is no reliance on late and overcrowded public transport. Being able to organise your own work day, and ultimately dropping the commute, means freelancers often achieve a couple of valuable working hours each morning, before most employees have even set foot in the office!
3. Freelancers choose their own desk space
Most freelancers thrive on mixing up their desk location. Whilst some prefer to make home their base, with the garden popular during the warmer months, others alternate between a string of coffee shops or even scenic park benches! Then there are the numerous hot desking and co-working opportunities that recognise the growing demand for creative freedom, as opposed to static working.
4. Freelancers don’t partake in office politics
There is no place for office politics in the world of freelancing. A water cooler or coffee break becomes exactly that; a five-minute drink. Freelancers are never dragged into petty squabbles and neither must suffer the morale crushing frustration at others who don’t pull their weight in the workplace. A freelancer learns in the very early stages of their career that time is a precious commodity, after all time is money, and therefore they use it wisely.
5. Freelancers are multitalented
Freelancers automatically become savvy in finance, payroll, administration, HR, sales, purchasing and IT. With no support or backup team you have to learn a multitude of skills, some that you were quite possibly oblivious to before becoming freelance. Because of this, many freelancers are fully self-sufficient, acquiring a vast amount of all-round experience and knowledge that looks great on their résumé!
6. Freelancers embrace new technology
All freelancers need to be tech savvy to survive in the current technological advanced climate, and most welcome new technology with open arms. With a wealth of programs, applications and equipment readily available on the market, technology makes freelancing so much easier and, as a result, you ensure you make good use of what is readily available and relevant to your own circumstances.
7. Freelancers are made of pure grit and determination
When you freelance, you fully understand that you take this journey alone, with no visible safety net. Yet, this mere thought is the driving force that you thrive on. You know that possibilities exist and you seek them, learning essential survival skills as you go along. As a freelancer, you learn to fight against the negativity and relinquish the chance to prove the haters wrong! Your success is your own responsibility – and you never take any of it for granted.
8. Freelancers grow in confidence with every successful contract
Freelancers do not receive a payslip, neither does a monthly wage appear in their account at the end of each calendar month. The pride you feel when you do receive payment though, means so much more than any assumed automatic payment. To a freelancer, payment received signals completion of a successful contract, all your own doing. The feeling of satisfaction is immense, as is the realisation that this is the path on which you truly belong.
9. Freelancers are social butterflies
Freelancers get out into the world and make contacts – that’s how they survive. Not only does this involve meeting a vast number of clients, but also a whole new community of fellow workers! When you freelance, you connect with other freelancers from all walks of life and creative sectors, many whom you would never have crossed paths with before going freelance. Hot desking and co-working creates an abundance of networking opportunities with like-minded people who inspire, offer advice and experience and even the possibility of valuable contacts.
10. Freelancers see the world of work differently
Some people believe that freelancers hate organised corporations, such is they have turned their back on working in these environments. Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, freelancing opens your eyes and makes you appreciate the hard work such organisations dedicate to achieve their goals. Freelancers understand the commitment that is needed to run any business and, as a result, respect them a great deal more in return as they work alongside them.
So, calling all fellow freelancers; let’s blow our own trumpets, print off those business cards and create those attention seeking websites. Why shouldn’t we show potential freelancers, and indeed the future generation, that the Monday to Friday nine til five slog is no longer the only working route available? It’s about time that we changed perceptions; after all, those 1.9 million people can’t all be wrong…
About the author
Clair Chaytors is a freelance writer, specialising in digital content. Clair has been freelancing since 2015 after leaving the 9-to-5 of the financial world. You can find Clair on the web at Bookwormmummy.com where she likes to review books. She’s also active on Twitter where you can find her as @clair_louise80.