Opinion

Freelancing: Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies

By Maddi Dolan

Maddilyn.dolan@spartans.ut.edu

Whether you want to be your own boss, pursue a passion, or start a side business, freelancing may be a great option for you. If you do ever decide to pursue a career in freelancing, either in college or post grad, know that you won’t be alone. 

According to Upwark’s 2021 Freelance Forward report, 36 percent of Americans freelance today. That means more than 1 in 3 people in the workforce are freelancers. 

So what exactly is freelancing? Essentially, it means you work for yourself instead of someone else or a corporation. Sure, you may do work for companies or organizations, but at the end of the day you’re self employed and there are a lot of benefits to that. 

As a freelancer, you set your own work hours and workload. You can work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. You would have total freedom and flexibility. Want to go on a last minute trip with friends? You wouldn’t have to worry about calling off work, finding a replacement, having enough vacation days or your boss telling you no. You are your own boss, you make the rules. But just remember that comes with a cost. 

Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to find work and get paid. Although you have the freedom to manage your own time, you have to manage it wisely. Having a steady income or finding work may be difficult at times, so preparing for that and knowing how much money you need to bring in monthly to support yourself financially is important. 

Freelancing is also great for those who want to do work that is meaningful to them. Have you ever had to work on a project that you absolutely hated, but you had to do it for your boss or professor? That usually doesn’t happen in freelance work. You get to choose what projects you take on, so focus on what you love. 

Whether you become a freelance wedding photographer, writer or voice actor, every project you take on will be different, so prepare to never get bored. Instead of working a 9-to-5 desk job doing the same thing every day, you’ll live a less redundant life, trying out new things and working with new people on a regular basis. 

Just remember that freelancing isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There are some drawbacks to the lifestyle. 

The first drawback is lack of benefits. As an employee for a business or corporation, you’d most likely be eligible for benefits. That’s not the case for freelance workers. Since freelancers are self employed, it’s most likely up to them to find and pay for insurance. 

Taxes may be another thing to consider before jumping into the world of freelance. No matter if you work for someone or yourself, you still have to pay taxes. Freelancers are responsible for paying self-employment taxes quarterly. Be sure to do your research. 

At the end of the day, working as a freelancer has many pros and cons, like any job you would take on. It’s up to you to decide what works for you. 

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