Why I Freelance
It is a question I am asked from time to time. The best answer I can give is because I love freelancing, and I also can make good money doing so.
It seems that more and more people have turned to freelancing either part-time or full-time. I am a member of Freelancers Union. I receive regular blog posts from them, and recently Freelancers Union and Upwork commissioned an independent study on freelancing. I found some of these facts interesting:
- 54 million Americans have worked as freelancers.
- 34% of workers have done freelance work in the last year.
- 1/2 of freelancers say they would not stop freelancing for any amount of money.
- 86% of freelancers will most likely vote.
- 78% of freelancers claim they make more freelancing than they did in a traditional job.
With these facts, they also discovered 5 types of freelancers. They are:
- Full time independent contractors. 36% of freelancers do so full-time.
- Moonlighting freelancers. 25% of freelancers work a traditional job and freelance on off hours.
- Diversified workers. 26% of freelancers also have traditional jobs and maybe a small business or network marketing.
- Temps. 9% of freelancers are working temporary jobs.
- Freelance business owners. 5% of freelancers own their freelance business and employ other freelancers.
So I posted a task for 4 freelancers
The Title was: Why I Freelance. For just a few dollars, I posted the task in Textbrokers and I received a variety of answers. At first, I considered editing for mistakes in grammar and spelling, but I then decided to post the answers as I received them.
So here are the answers:
Why I Freelance
I freelance for many reasons, but it all comes down to flexibility and lifestyle. I used to work at a high-powered corporate job slaving away for 80 plus hours a week, wearing the pinstriped suit and living in a beige colored land of cubicles. The idea of not being able to get outside and experiencing the world was causing me to become stressed. I knew I have never been the kind of person to be happy sitting at a desk all day, everyday mindless shuffling papers.
Now, with the life I have chosen I can work whenever I desire, no longer forced into the artificial nine-to-five work day. If I have a project, I can work on it at night when everything is quiet. Or if I have something I would prefer to do during the day I can shift my work around to accommodate those things that are important to me.
Nor am I bound to a particular location. I can work as I am now from the kitchen table, or from a lounge chair by the pool. I enjoy traveling, so many times I spend a couple of hours a day working from a hotel room, or a local coffee shop. Because of the nature of writing, I can work from any place I choose.
I can select the jobs I want to do, not just the ones assigned to me. If a specific topic is not of interest, then I can pass on it for something I want to write about. I’ve been able to learn about a lot of things by picking up assignments that I never had the time to look into before simply by having someone ask me to write a short piece or essay.
Know though, that freelancing is not for everyone. The work is usually steady, but there may be gaps between assignments. If security is something important to you, then this is not the lifestyle for you, especially in the beginning. Also, if you will be providing your own structure, so if you are undisciplined, then that is a skill you will need to develop before taking up the freelancing lifestyle.
Why I Freelance
For me, the decision to write freelance is all about freedom. Two freedoms are of particular interest to me. The ability to pursuit projects that I am passionate about, and the opportunity to write on my own schedule.
If I were to write for a newspaper, for instance, the content of my work would be largely dictated by someone else. I would be given a topic, a word count and a deadline. Moreover, I may be asked to write in support or opposition of an issue regardless of my true feelings on the subject. Freelance allows me to write about the topics I choose. I freelance because it permits me to give voice to my thoughts and passions without influence or agenda.
Freelance also gives me the freedom to write when I am able. I find that when I am consistently writing on a deadline, I run the risk of sloppy work. I have never been able to write on demand as inspiration seems to strike haphazardly. I would rather not write at all than write poorly. This is not to say that freelance writing is free of deadlines, only that I have more of a say in the matter.
I work full time at an office job. Because of this, I am not always free to write when I would like. The ability to choose projects that fit my schedule is invaluable. The flexibility involved with this kind of writing makes it possible to support myself financially without giving up my passion.
Why I Choose to be a Freelance Worker
Typically, freelance workers do not choose freelancing work because the pay is great. On the contrary, statistics will show that independent workers earn much less that other employees who undertake the same or similar work.
So, why do I freelance? I do so for two important reasons:
(1) Freedom of Choice
The freedom of choice that attends freelancing work means that I can say “no” to certain negative aspects of the work environment. For example:
– I get to opt out of the rat race, and I do not have to spend a part of my day caught up in commuter traffic, or crammed into crowded train carriages or buses.
– I am sensitive to strong fragrances and scents, and open-plan offices and workplaces are filled with workers who — while being unaware of other people’s sensitivities — drown themselves in strong perfumes and colognes that trigger migraines and other unpleasant side effects in susceptible individuals.
Too often, workers do not realize that their choices and strength of fragrances can exert pernicious effects on their fellow workers. As a freelancer working from home, I no longer have to suffer in silence. I do not have to suffer at all, because I control my work environment.
As a freelancer, I can be totally flexible with my work hours, and I can organize my days to suit the needs of each particular day. I can even take days off at will.
In my particular case, freelancing became the obvious choice. Freedom and flexibility trump a high salary and an inflated job title. Most important of all: improved health and a reduction in stress are simply priceless!
Ultimately, if something displeases me I can say “no” to the boss — because I am the boss!
Freelancing for Freedom
I freelance for freedom, for the ability to stay home with my children when my husband is deployed and my ailing father needs a caregiver. I do it to give me a mental escape from the drudgery of daily life and to improve my skills, express myself creatively, and feel like I am accomplishing something for myself when most my day consists of taking care of the needs of other people. Staying at home is great but a life that consists of nothing else is depressing.
I can do it while I’m cooking dinner, or in the early hours of the morning before the kids get up. I can decide to do it when my brain is at it’s sharpest, early in the morning with coffee or late at night with some tea. If something comes up like a sick child, I can work around it.
I’m giving the flexibility to work as much as I please, and decide what projects interest me the most. This allows me to be passionate, learn along the way, and do my best work.
There is nothing better for me and my family. It’s a choice that fits perfectly into my lifestyle and I regret nothing.
What about you? Why do you freelance?
From what I read from these 4 freelancers, flexibility is a top reason. Freedom from the drudgery of a 9 to 5 job with employers who don’t care about you or your family.
Please tell us why you freelance. What type of freelancing do you do? Thank you for visiting.