Have you been one of those designers who still can’t decide if you should invest your time using your skills to help different businesses of all sorts? Here I will talk about the pros and cons of working as a freelancer coming from an in-house position.
Work on your own terms
Pro: One of the biggest reasons why people turn to freelancing is the fact that they can work on their own terms. People can decide when to work, where to work, how they should carry out the project and when to take their days off. Not needing to report to a boss and commuting will also allow you as designer more free time throughout the day.
Con: Because there isn’t a boss wanting you to report, working on your own terms can be more difficult than it sounds. Wanting to get out of bed early in the winter morning seems unlikely. A designer must have established self discipline to effectively be able to work alone.
Pro: Money will be traveling into less channels which means you will reap more of it. Unlike working full time in a company, your pay will not be capped based on what someone else thinks your worth but will receive more pay based on how much value you bring to other companies. You will decide your salary.
Con: Money you will earn will be based solely how much work you get. How many clients will help decide what your absolute income is and depending on how you manage your freelancing career, it can be unreliable at times.
Pro: As a freelancer, you will be working with many businesses in possibly different industries. No two projects will be the same. Because you are running your project. You will be wearing many hats.
Con: Depending on the type of person you are this may or may not be a big deal but a lot of designers going into freelancing don’t realize this until things get hard. You are running a business. That means you are going to want to learn how to do things that designers don’t enjoy learning, such as marketing, accounting, etc.
Pro: Being exposed to a variety of businesses and in control of your career, you will be gaining a lot more knowledge than you will in a 9-5 position. This means you will have the skills to do more than you normally would.
Con: Depending on where you would search, if you decide to work in-house again, it may be a bit difficult. Employers who have seen that you have done freelancing for however long probably won’t care as much than if you were working in-house. Employers like to see that you’ve worked for someone and held a job. Again, that all depends on where you’ve searched and your role while freelancing.
Pro: You are working on your own terms. You can decide when to take vacations and days off without the fear of someone rejecting your request.
Con: Prepare to work long days unexpectedly at times. Even though you can decide your hours, often times clients will assume you are working on weird hours (like 2 am). That being said, this is your personal brand on the line. If you have dedicated a certain amount of hours on a project, make sure you are working those hours at the very least.