The rise of businesses like Uber and TaskRabbit have given way to what experts are calling the gig economy. Instead of spending 40+ hours per week, people are turning their backs on traditional office jobs in favor of side jobs with flexible hours and more personal freedom.
This is more than a simple fad, however. According to NPR's findings, one in five employees is a freelancer of some sort, with their report estimating that within the next few years, almost half of the workforce will consist of contract workers.
Do you like the sound of being your own boss and setting your hours? Before you commit to the life of a freelancer, there are some things you'll want to know.
Here are five things to consider before starting freelance careers.
1. That Freedom Isn't Really Free
You can't spell freelancer without the word free, but that doesn't mean that there aren't strings attached. In fact, if anything a freelancing career comes with more strings.
Going freelance means that your work schedule is going to change -- in both bad and good ways.
You may not always get weekends or holidays off, for instance, especially as you begin your new career.
But working for yourself means more time and freedom to spend with your family. Let's say your child gets sick and needs to come home from school. If you're freelancing, you won't have to jump through hoops to get out of work early. Simply pause your task, pick up your child, and make sure they're taken care of.
You can work anywhere, anytime.
2. You'll Need To Provide Your Own Healthcare
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of freelancing is the lack of benefits such as a 401k or even basic healthcare. With a standard job, your employer takes care of the details for you.
Due to the lack of benefits, it's up to you to search the market for self employed health insurance that you can afford.
3. Accountability Is A Must
Though freelancing does grant you some pretty great perks, such as the ability to set your own schedule, it's vital that you keep yourself accountable.
If your work doesn't get done, you won't get paid. And if you don't get paid, finding money for basic necessities like food and rent becomes a challenge.
4. Daily Routines Often Work Best
We know, we know: You're considering freelancing to get away from that boring routine. But routines are actually healthy and can provide structure to our days.
Even if you're working from home, it's a good idea to come up with at least a rough schedule that you'll follow every day.
5. Freelancing Is Possible In Any Industry
Perhaps the biggest of the benefits of freelancing is how versatile it is. No matter what you do or what you're interested in, you can find a way to spin it into a freelance career.
From copywriting to web design to driving to education, if you're skilled and interested in something, you can turn it into a freelance career.
Final Thoughts On The Pros And Cons Of Freelance Careers
Suffice to say that freelancing careers have some pretty major advantages and drawbacks. Whether the pros outweigh the cons is something you'll want to consider before quitting your office job and charting your own course.
If you're interested in finding the perfect new career, create an account on our jobs board and gain access to exciting new career listings.