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15 benefits to working as a full time freelancer

This is the follow up article to "15 draw backs to working as a full time freelancer" article we published a while back. Special thanks go to all of my followers on twitter who helped with the great answers to both of these articles.

In the previous article, I covered 15 of the draw backs to working as a freelancer full time. I only felt that it would be right to share the negative side of it before telling you how great it actually is. I love freelancing and I wouldn't change my life for anything. Yes, I can take the negative's from freelancing and outweigh them with the good - and I do, on a regular basis. Things will get rough, but life is rough - work through it :)

So below are 15 great benefits to freelancing. Feel free to drop a comment and let me know any other benefits you don't see on the list - or the ones on the list you do agree with.

  1. No boss breathing down your neck - You're the boss - you make the rules, which generally leave you more relaxed and happy.
  2. Spend more time with family - During the summer, I can pack up and go to the water park at a moments notice. I love spending time with my family and with the freelance lifestyle, it's easier than ever before.
  3. Job security - If you lose your job, its (9 times out of 10) because you slacked off too much and/or did something stupid. The harder you work, the more you'll benefit.
  4. Creating your own hours - If you want to work late into the evening, or you enjoy getting up early in the morning, you can set your own hours, build your own schedule and fit work around your personal life - instead of the other way around.
  5. You learn more about personal finances - Being a freelancer will help you learn how to manage money and also keep up with your financial paperwork which is always a plus.
  6. No daily commute (and traffic jams) - Roll out of bed, put your slippers on and head to the computer. It's that simple :)
  7. Complete control over your rates - If you want to charge more, do it. If you feel you're making too little money per hour, change your hourly rate. No more begging for a raise.
  8. You can do the work you love - Are you passionate about drawing, but you're stuck in accounting? Leave that all behind with a full time freelance career.
  9. Wake up whenever you want - This is a great plus for me as well as a lot of early risers or late risers. There's no need for a buzzer to wake you up at 6am to get to work by 7am anymore. (thanks to StephenTiano for the twitter response)
  10. Unforseen emergencies are easier to deal with - As stated above in number 2, any time something pops up, you're able to leave and don't have to worry about taking a sick day, lose pay or jeapordize your position with your boss.
  11. Mobile workstations make work fun - Like the picture for this post, you can work anywhere there's internet connection (and if you're a writer, you don't even need that - just a pen and pad).
  12. No need to spend 4-8 years in college - I haven't even graduated high school, yet I know more about web design and development than most people I know who spent years in college classes. Plus, I got started early and didn't have to wait to graduate before I started working and learning the ins and outs of business.
  13. The ability to keep (or cut) clients - When working from a big office for a big corporation, you take the clients they give you. When working for yourself as a freelancer, you can cut any unruly clients or keep the ones you love and nurture those relationships.
  14. Noone is to blame for your stolen red stapler - Anyone who's seen Office Space will know that a stolen red stapler can be a big problem. Noone is around to steal yours though if you're a freelancer - except your kids or your cat/dog :)
  15. Working in your underwear is not a crime - It's no secret that working from home can give you a ton of added benefits - the biggest (in some peoples eyes) being that you don't have to wear pants - even if you're doing video chats or conversating on the phone.

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  1. Dicky says:

    Totally a agree with what you said, especially the 2nd point, i can spend my time with my family while i am working.

  2. All these benefits apply only in comparison to standard dull 9 to 5 job. Working on exciting startup in agile team has almost all of the mentioned benefits as well (except for reason #14 – working in your underwear; but there are startups where even this is possible!) and much more!

    By the way, #12 is a doubtful benefit, as college years are among the most joyful in entire life.

  3. Mike says:

    @Dicky – thanks for the comment :)

    @Pavlo – thanks for your comments. Yes, working in a small start up team could bring a lot of the benefits, but you’ll still be missing out on some of the items (working when you want, ect) there’s still more structure as a team than working on your own.

    With a team, you have to be accountable at specific times and work together on things as well as keeping track of each other to make sure you’re all doing what you’re supposed to.

    #12 is indeed a benefit as a lot of people do not believe that college is enjoyable and only go because their parents wanted them to or they “think it’s the right thing to do”.

  4. Victor says:

    I worked at the full-time job and I think that 90% of the management for each person is his own boss. Good boss can excuse your mistakes and get some bonuses for your good work. Bad boss can make your life impossible and stressful.
    This is why I would like to add 16 point: full-time job means ‘boss-subordinate’ relations between you and person who assigns tasks to you. freelance means ‘client-provider’ relations between these people. Client can be wrong while boss is always right :)

    about #12. I think you are wrong about college. College is not club, party or cinema. It shouldn’t be funny and enjoyable. It should give knowledge to you and give you ability to find more knowledges when you will need it. It can be very useful during freelancing.

  5. Daniel says:

    I agree with you.. alltought number 12 it´s better spend time to learn in college. Especially when you started your carrer. You can give more knowledge.. In my case i spend 4 years.

  6. jose says:

    lo malo es no tener una paga segura a final de mes, un poco antes de las cuentas

  7. Great benefits. Thanks for the interesting post. Freelancing is very famous and very interesting. A person can work independently according to his convenience. You get lots of knowledge as a freelancer.

  8. Soumya says:

    Very good post! Totally agree with all the points! :)

  9. Yes you are right, most of the benefits from work as freelance you did mention above. But, it is required great commitment to be successful freelance.

  10. Jeff says:

    #14 is the reason why I freelance, Office Space is a classic example of why someone would want to start freelancing in the first place…not just because you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your red stapler, but if you work your ass off for a company, it doesn’t necessarily mean that because the company is doing well/better that you’ll be compensated better, so what’s the motivation? With freelance the harder you work, the more you work, the more you make–You’re in control of your financial well-being, which can be very liberating albeit a little scary.

  11. mariana says:

    plus great benefit
    – GREEN WORK – since we dont commute in traffic and pollute
    – NO TIME SPENT IN TRAFFIC = more time to ourselves :)


    Freelancing is sometimes the only option left for us when MERIT, QUALIFICATIONS, EFFICIANCY are absolutely disregarded by some NOMINATED/RESERVED-CATEGORY DUMB, STRAIGHT OUT OF RICH WOMB HITLER BOSS. Especially true in NEO FASCIST DEMONCRACIES like INDIA. Anyways every aspect of our life has positives and an equal number of negatives. Circumstances decides our viewpoint rather than merits/demerits rationale!

  13. Cat Noone says:

    I think this post is great honestly. It really hits it on the head.

    I found # 14 hilarious though. My last name is “Noone” and the article doesn’t space the “noone” to “no one”, therefore accusing “Noone” of stealing the red stapler :) haha.

    Good article, and very insightful. Thanks for posting.

  14. I am freelancer web designer. I got some interesting facts in this article that I never thought before this.

  15. MD says:

    Great my opinion it comes down to a very simple fact:

    when you are a freelancer, you are your own boss and so the risk may be high but you have nobody to blame for failing but yourself…I find that to give people the motivation they need to succeed.

    As for point 12. College or University may not be for everybody, but for those who do go it’s a balancing act. You have to work hard to gain the knowledge ( and I mean more than just getting A’s on exams) but you also have a ton of resources available for you to take advantage of! Everyone is so big on networking as professionals, why not start while in school? Get to know your classmates and get involved with the faculty. and yes attend the occasional party here and there! “Work Hard. Party Hard” That was my faculty’s motto. I remember being at an academic conference one year and at 2 am in the hospitality suite was one of the brightest (and Oldest!) professors playing beer pong with the students…he ended up helping some of the students he met that night to get amazing jobs after graduation.

  16. For me, it is mostly the Freedom factor!

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