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Top Perks and Pitfalls of Freelancing Jobs

Top Perks and Pitfalls of Freelancing Jobs

Freelancing is becoming ever more popular as skilled workers can offer their services from almost anywhere in the world while allowing both employer and employee to keep down the costs of doing business. There are some serious perks to freelancing, but it’s not without its pitfalls as well.

According to a recent study by MastersDegree.net, freelancing is booming in the tech industry like nowhere else. The resultant infographic suggests that IT workers in everything from copywriting to testing jobs make up 59% of the total freelance earnings breakdown, with creative, marketing and operations freelancers making up most of the remainder.

But how does IT freelancing measure up to having a full-time position? Here are the prime perks and pitfalls experienced by those who have worked in this increasingly popular professional path:

Perk: Independent Working Schedule

Although freelancers have to work to deadlines outlined by their employer, they still have a greater degree of flexibility in their working routine than full-time professionals. Not only can they pick and choose the contracts that suit their skills and particular circumstances, freelancers can also work the hours that suit them best to get the job done on time.

For parents with young children or other dependents, this flexibility can be a real boon that helps balance both personal and professional demands.

Pitfall: Periods of Scarce Work

While some freelancers find little to no difficulty maintaining a steady flow of work requests from outsourcers, sometimes there just isn’t enough work available. This becomes especially problematic for freelancers whose skill set is relatively narrow or specialised.

Lengthy periods of unemployment carry with them all the associated problems that non-freelancers face. Aside from the obvious financial constraints, it can also lead to a loss of confidence.

The research from MastersDegree.net suggested that 50% of freelancers dug into their savings at some point in 2009.

Perk: Greater Professional Mobility

Independent freelance workers often have a significant benefit over their employee counterparts, as they work with a far greater range of employers on a wider variety of jobs. This means that they get the opportunity to broaden their skills as they experience different working environments and ethos.

This can be very handy for freelancers who want to apply for full time positions, especially project management jobs, as they can usually cite a greater range of past work experience than other candidates.

Pitfall: Lack of Employer Support

While freelancers can achieve an attractive hourly rate or overall contractual fee, their employer’s obligation ends when the job’s done. Unlike employees at established companies, freelancers can’t expect benefit schemes, company pension options or health care packages.

Perk: It Feels Good to be the Boss

MastersDegree.net claims that 60% of freelancers are happier as independent workers than they were as employees. The ability to decide when and where to work without micro-management or constant supervision has genuine appeal to a growing number of professionals working in IT jobs.

Pitfall: Getting Ripped off

Unscrupulous or wilfully negligent employers are sadly more common than you would hope, as the infographic suggests that almost 8 out of 10 freelancers have experienced a situation where their employer refused to pay them for their work.

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