There are several advantages of being a freelancer. The following five are among the top reasons people decide to become full-time freelancers:
1. You work when you want. For many people, working nine-to-five simply doesn’t take advantage of their most productive and efficient hours. As a freelancer, if you work better in the early hours of the morning, or late into the night, you have the freedom of adjusting your work schedule to accommodate your best, most productive working times. You also have the flexibility to adjust your schedule so that you can live your life more fully. Haven’t seen your college friend Mike in years, and you find out he’s in town for one day next week? If your deadlines permit, you can schedule a nice, long lunch with him to play catch-up. And medical and dental appointments? You can easily schedule them in during non-busy times of the work day.
2. You work wherever you want. Freelancing these days isn’t just about cutting your commute time from an hour to zero minutes. With the increasing connectivity of our everyday world, freelancers these days have the option not only of working from home, but also out and about in their home cities—in the library, at the local Starbucks, in a park on a beautiful spring day. If you’re more adventurous and don’t require a consistency in your work places, you might find yourself joining the small but growing number of freelancers who choose to work from all around the globe, traveling wherever they want while still meeting their deadlines.
3. You are your own boss. You know what you like to do, and what you do best, but when you’re working for someone else, none of this matters that much to your supervisor or manager. When you’re a freelancer, you’re the one in charge of the assignments you accept—you get to build the career that you want. Sure, at times you may end up working on projects you’re not that interested in, in order to have work during the downtimes, but that’s a choice that you get to make as a freelancer. Unlike an employee, you have the freedom of full control over the work you take on, and for whom you work.
4. You have more income potential. There’s nothing as disheartening as finding out, as an hourly or salaried employee, that your employer is charging a customer or client ten or twenty times the amount you’re getting paid for a project on which you’re doing all the work. As a freelancer, you’ll be able to charge what your work is worth, and you get to pocket all the profit after your expenses are paid. Your income isn’t capped by your hourly or salaried rate, either. The more effort you put into finding clients and landing new jobs, the more income you have the potential of making.
5. You can take advantage of more tax deductions. As a freelancer, you’ll be able to deduct a lot more expenses, deductions that aren’t available to employees. Deductions you can make may include things like the costs associated with your home office, travel expenses, costs related to entertainment and meals, your Internet access, your cellphone package and any other reasonable and legitimate costs which you incur as a result of running your own business. There may also be a number of tax sheltering investments you can take advantage of as a freelancer, so it pays to consult a tax expert and/or financial planner to see how freelancing might affect your taxes.