Dublin, 27 February 2018
The grass is always greener on the other side. At least that’s what people say.
It’s definitely true regarding the argument between employees and freelancers. Both categories have a set opinion about the other and think quite often that the others have it better and easier. We can’t provide you with a definitive answer either, as it’s not that cut and dry. We’ll take a look at the most common pros and cons of being both, an employee and a freelancer, and let you draw your own conclusions.
Freelancer don’t have to worry about anything, they are never at the whim of superiors and can split up their time as they please. These are the most common preconceptions that employees have when it comes to being a freelancer. There is some truth to it – being your own boss boosts your motivation, indeed. There is no mean supervisor with unrealistic expectations and requests and there are no annoying co-workers. And every employee has a story or two to tell about conflicts with bosses o colleagues. Most of the time, they are about unrealistic expectations on the side of the supervisors, who openly disregard the available resources of any kind or about gossiping or extremely lazy co-workers. Under these circumstances, working on your own and following your own rhythm sound heavenly. Just as avoiding the traffic jams in the morning or sleeping in do. There are no binding business hours.
On the other side we find especially much of one thing – uncertainty. Freelancer don’t have a fixed monthly income on which they can rely. The income can fluctuate wildly from month to month. Normally, months with better income balance out the ones with lower income. There is also an underside to – at least theoretically - always being able to take a vacation. Holidays are always unpaid, just like sick days. Every missed working day means a lower income, as with freelancers, time is money, literally. Freelancer have to take care of their pensions - and every other form of social security that the employer pays for the employee - themselves. They can’t rely on unions and never get promotions. Negotiations are the only way for them to boost their income. The amount of their pay, on the other hand, is influenced by the quality of their work, their experience and their reliability. Under the right circumstances and with the right skill set, freelancer are able to earn a lot more that employees with their job and income security.
From the outside, it’s not easy to determine, which one of these two working arrangements is the ideal one for you, as the answer is dependent on your own opinions toward them and your personal characteristics. With the right working morale, knowledge and experience, you won’t be wrong either way.