The idea of pursuing a career for freelancers is attractive for multiple reasons. Some love the gig economy because it lets them work from virtually anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection.
Others want to work from home without committing to a full-time job in an office because they cannot stand an environment of having to interact with coworkers.
Other reasons exist as well; different freelancers will tell you different reasons why they justify freelancer work as the best possible option. However, while the idea has certain advantages, it also comes with negative things.
Freelancers face threats when working. If you are on the fence about starting your home office, you should know what to expect so you can prepare in advance.
Let’s start with the fact that freelancing is competitive. Even if you operate in a relatively small niche, the odds are that someone has had a head start and established themselves in the industry.
Overcoming competition is hard, especially if you have no references to back you up. Looking for clients is a daunting task. Even if you find a potential lead, there are no guarantees that you will land it. Many companies and individuals are wary when a freelancer approaches them.
Many freelancers start on Fiverr and other similar platforms to slowly build up their portfolio by taking the cheapest available jobs just to get a few positive reviews. And from there, it is about slowly building a reputation. It is also important to try to find consistent work that pays enough to live off of.
Speaking of finding consistent work, the reality of freelancing is that there will be times when you are struggling to find a gig. There is also the chance of being swamped with work with no end in sight.
Such inconsistencies are a hindrance to one’s overall productivity and mental health. Working in an office, for instance, means that you are more or less familiar with what to expect workload-wise. Sure, there are some days when load management becomes a real challenge, but overall, there is consistency throughout the year.
In freelancing, unfortunately, the worst is when you do not have enough work and start to doubt yourself.
No job opportunities will make you question whether choosing to freelance was a good idea in the first place. You might be tempted to return to the work of a 9 to 5-day job, which means abandoning all the effort you put into pursuing your freelancing career.
Your freelancing career depends on finding legitimate customers. In the technologically-advanced world, it’s getting more complex to identify malicious actors.
Risk assessment is a challenging task not just for organizations, but for freelancers, too. Before you realize it, your small freelancing business could become a hub for a not-so-obvious criminal activity.
As a freelancer, you have limited resources. Nevertheless, you must use them wisely to ascertain who is a legit customer and who should be removed from your list.
Plenty of freelancers struggle with procrastination. Working from home means that you do not have in-person supervision.
It is one thing to be surrounded by people in the office and another to be working alone. You might get in the habit of putting the work off because you want to browse social media on your smartphone or watch YouTube videos.
A small break here and there is not an issue. However, if you end up wasting too much time on random things, do not be surprised to struggle with deadlines.
Working late into the night also messes with your schedule. You have more freedom as a freelancer. However, it is easy to fall into the hole of struggling to focus on work.
Feeling isolated is a problem for those who like to socialize with others. Some freelancers are content with being alone. In fact, they pursue this work model precisely because they want as few in-person interactions as possible.
However, when one gets used to people and likes it, switching to a work environment that leaves you alone is often detrimental to mental health.
Many freelancers seek opportunities to be surrounded by people. Instead of spending time at home, they go and work in cafes, libraries, and other places that have other people.
Cybersecurity issues are one of those things that are not too difficult to avoid when you know what you are doing.
Having said that, a fair few freelancers are unaware of the potential dangers of using public Wi-Fi. They do not bother investing in a virtual private network.
Antivirus software is another example, though many devices, including computers, have built-in anti-malware tools these days.
In rare cases, you might end up signing a contract with a company for a long-term project. This company might lack the necessary software solutions to manage transactions and other operations.
And if someone exposes the holes internally or externally, your personal details could be exposed as well, depending on the nature of the attack.
Be careful with what you sign up for because you never know when the information you submit could come back to bite you.
Lack of Benefits
As a freelancer, you do not have access to health insurance and vacation days that companies provide their employees.
You will have to plan such things yourself, and it can be tricky because you already have a lot on your plate to think about.
Once things get going and you start making enough money, there is room to think about taking some time off and worry less about medical bills. Early on, though, it will not be as easy.