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.