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Manonita Rathore
Gig economy and behaviour &soft skills Expert
Asked a question last year

What are disadvantages of freelancing?

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Jahnvi Singh Parihar
Communication Skills, Educational Technology & Operations Expert

Here are the 7 disadvantages of working as a freelancer that I still remember well.

1) Freelancers have to market themselves all the time.
 
 Are you good with self-promotion and marketing? It’s a skill. Everyone is not good at marketing and public relations. You have to keep your name upfront and visible.  Payroll employees do not have to market themselves at all. Once they are hired, once they start to work, their jobs are waiting for them every day, by definition.

2) Freelancers have to compete every day with millions out there.
 
 Did you look at freelancing job sites like Guru or Freelancer lately? The competition is immense, thanks to the Internet. Payroll jobs may be harder to get but they protect you against such random competition. 

3) Freelancers have to pay for their medical and life insurance.
 
 When you are a payroll employee you take advantage of the group rates that your company negotiates. This is actually one of the main reasons that keep people on the payroll when they learn how much their insurance premiums will jump once they go freelancing. A payroll employee usually have access to such insurance.

4) Freelancer do not have paid vacations or paid personal days off.
 
 Freelancing is an all-consuming 24-7 affair. You take time off during national and religious holidays at their own expense. Your time is really money. If you get sick or the minute you don’t work, the meter stops since you are selling your time. Payroll employees also sell their time but they still get paid when they take a coffee or lunch break, or they enjoy paid annual vacations and sick leave.

5) Freelancers do not work in a supportive office environment.
 
 Most of the time they work alone, in isolation. True, an office can be oppressive as well in which case you need to find yourself another job. A freelancer has to create a network of experts, support team of friends and resources and keep the network alive, and that takes a lot of time and energy.

6) Freelancers do not have too many promotion opportunities.
 
 A freelancer remains as a freelancer whereas a payroll employee can be promoted to different roles within the organization. The lines and lanes of horizontal and vertical promotion do exist for payroll employees but not for individual freelancers.

7) Freelancers must save religiously for their retirement and old age.
 
 Most full-time payroll jobs come with a retirement plan, either in the form of contributions automatically deducted from your paycheck and matched by the company, a pension plan, or both. 

So think once, twice and seven times before you jump from your cubicle into that “independent life style” of freelancing. The future you save might be your very own.

Shubham Talwar
e- commerce and service sector Expert

1. Not Steady or Reliable Workloads – Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that your income and your workload are unstable and inconsistent. For the most part, you won’t be able to depend on any regular project, client, or profit, whereas you would know the exact pay you’ll receive at a traditional job.

2. Distinguishing Between Work and Personal Time – Being your own boss and working from your home also means that it can be difficult to distinguish between your work time and your personal life. This means that you can work long hours and never make time for your personal interests.

3. A lot of Legwork – You are now in charge of finding all your own clients and projects. When you worked a traditional job, your projects were probably handed to you. But now, you’re the sole person responsible, so that means a lot of legwork on your part.  And that means you have to wear many hats, including marketing, advertising, and sales.

4. Not Getting Paid – Being a freelancer also means that you run the risk of not getting paid. This is fairly common in the freelance world, and one more hat you’ll have to wear is that of a debt collector. There are ways to protect yourself from non-paying clients, but sometimes you won’t realize you’re at risk until it’s too late.

5. No Employer Benefits – Health benefits are expensive. Depending on your current health, switching to a freelance lifestyle might not be in your best interest. Also, starting your own freelance business means you no longer have paid sick days or vacation time to use. Every day you don’t work is a day you won’t get paid.

Manonita Rathore
Gig economy and behaviour &soft skills Expert

Freelancing has become quite popular in the modern world thanks to the many benefits it comes with. The thought of working in pajamas, with snacks and coffee on the desk next to a laptop in the comfort of your home has prompted many people to quit their jobs for earning money online. 

Although freelancing may seem to you as a way of pocketing easy cash with complete freedom, it can at times be quite the opposite. With the advantages of better work-life stability, flexible choice of working hours and the option to not go to an office, there are also several factors which may in turn make your life difficult.

No Job Security

There isn't any guaranteed work in freelancing. Work comes in the form of different projects you take from one or multiple clients. You will not be contracted to the client(s), which leads to the possibility that your employer may not continue to work with you once you're done with the project(s). You could go from having a high income one month to being unemployed in the next one. 

Messed Up Routines

Although the flexibility of choosing your work hours may seem enticing, it can also mess up your daily schedules. Permanent jobs have a specific timeframe and you have fixed hours to go to and return from work which helps you maintain a certain level of consistency in life. As a freelancer, you could find yourself working through the night till the sun comes up. 

Unreasonable Clients

You won't find likeable clients as often as you would like. You'll notice that your life will revolve around your client and meeting their demands will be your top priority. In return, they will reward you with surprise late night calls, force you to return from parties to get their work done, and voice their disapproval of your assignments. Furthermore, if you're an office goer or a student who turned to freelancing for some extra cash, your client will most likely not pay any heed to your other responsibilities. Work, classes or even studying for exams will all fall on deaf ears.

Isolation

Even though permanent office jobs can be quite stressful, you at least get to be in a workplace with colleagues to interact with. Working at home, isolated from the rest of the world can get very lonely and doing it for a long time may take its toll on a person.

Chance of Unequal Compensation 

The prices for projects are set by the employers according to their will which means you could find yourself earning a meager sum for a taxing project. You could even earn a lot for a very small project. Also since you're being paid on a project-basis, the inconsistency in cash flows may hamper you when it comes to paying your bills.