So, you’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about freelancers who are killing it, living the high life by being their own boss. That sounds mighty good, seeing how you hate your job, right?
Before you type up your resignation letter, it may be wise to consider the pros and cons of your 9-to-5 job, before you quit to freelance.
Here a few examples to help you along.
Pro: A Stable Source of Income
You’re used to having money come into your checking account on a given day.
Having a set pay period is ideal. Knowing when and how much money you’ve got coming helps you set your budget. You can also take advantage of this to set up automatic bill payments or — even better — automatic transfers to a savings account.
You can rest easy knowing that you’ll get paid in time to pay the rent at the end of the month.
Con: Limited Income
In 2018, the average pay raise for American workers is expected to be 3%. Not bad, but nothing to write home about, either. Especially considering that the average cost of living is growing a lot faster in most areas.
You can cross your fingers and toes and hope that your employer is feeling generous enough to give you more than 3%. There’s not much else you can do because this is pretty much out of your hands.
If you work in retail, and customers aren’t shopping at your store, chances are your boss won’t be opening the vault.
What if the head honchos over at corporate headquarters decide that all the cubicle warriors aren’t getting more than 1% this year?
Freelancers have complete control over their income. They set their own rates. They decide how much they want to work. They can pitch to prospective customers until the cows come home if they so desire.
There’s a reason the internet is littered with freelance bloggers and writers and creators making six-figures, year after year. Most freelancers don’t have to worry about frozen wages or corporate pencil pushers. All they do is get paid.
Pro: You Have a Fixed Schedule
At 3 p.m. on a Wednesday, everybody knows where to find you: sitting in your cubicle.
Your daily schedule rarely — if ever — changes: in the car at 8 a.m., on the freeway at 8:05, across the river at 8:35, and at your desk by 9. Out the door at 5 p.m. Weekend off.
This makes it easy to plan the rest of your life. Karate on Tuesday night. Soccer on Wednesday. Hairdresser on Thursday. Brunch on Sunday.
Con: You Have a Fixed Schedule
A set daily schedule for 8 or 10 hours means other tasks must get done outside that time frame. Shopping, groceries, banking, doctor’s appointments: all of this must get done in the time you have left at night or over the weekend.
Right now, 99% of people are running on the same schedule. Which means you’ll be dealing with crowds everywhere you go. You need to experience empty stores on a Tuesday morning to see how good it feels.
In many places, banks close at 4 p.m. every day, with maybe a one later evening exception. They’re closed on weekends. Seeing a doctor or a dentist on a Sunday afternoon? Not happening in most towns.
Freelancers set their own schedule. If a freelancer books a doctor’s appointment on a Wednesday, it is easy to catch up on work later that night. Problem solved.
Pro: An Active Social Life
When you work in a regular job, there’s always someone to talk to about your weekend, or the shoes you bought, or how your kid’s potty training is coming along…
You can go out to lunch with your colleagues, or grab a few drinks at happy hour. Some of them may even become good friends who you will get together with at other times.
Con: You’re All Alone
Since freelancers often work-from-home and do much of their work online, they may not see many people. Most communications happen through email. Freelancers rarely meet customers as many are simply too far away.
Freelancers spend many long days staring at computer screens, typing away. They may have to force themselves to leave the house — to hit the gym, get some shopping done, or take a walk around the block.
If you’re a very social person, you will need to find ways to deal with isolation.
So Should You Quit to Freelance?
There’s no clear-cut answer to whether or not you should leave your job to become a freelancer. The freelancing life is not meant for everybody. Many have tried it, some succeed. Others soon figure out that a just a different 9 to 5 was what they needed after all.
These are but a few of the pros and cons to ponder before making your decision. Hopefully, they help to make your choice easier.
Article written by Marietta
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Originally published at womenwhomoney.com on March 6, 2018.