More than ever before, people are interested in a career that gives them freedom. They want to control where they work and how they work, and, for many people, they think that that means freelancing. But there’s another option and, for some, it may even be better. Read on…
Today’s question comes from Alanna L., who asks, “I really want to build freedom into my career. In your opinion, do you think the best way to do that is to pursue full-time freelance? Remote working seems like a big buzz thing now, too.”
As a creative, one of the biggest benefits of our careers is that we can engineer our careers to suit us. For some people, that means agency work. For others, that means in-house work. For some, it means working from an office and for others that means working from anywhere else.
Or, it might mean a combination of any of the above.
So, I’d highly encourage you to figure out what you want your career to look like and experiment with it. You might find that you can’t focus as well at home and need to be in an office, whether that be a business or a co-working space.
But let’s break down the two career styles that people most commonly associate with freedom: freelancing and remote working.
Freelancing means you’re working for a client or a company, and you’re not on their staff. This means they don’t pay your taxes, they don’t cover your insurance, and you’re generally not working in their office. (You might have to go into their office sometimes for meetings, but if you’re going into the office, you’re likely contracting, not freelancing.)
This means, of course, that you can work from wherever you want to and, aside from meetings, you can work at any time you want to. You don’t have to work from 9 to 5 if you don’t feel like it; as long as you deliver your work by the deadline—and you’re available when your client needs you—you can work from 11pm to 4am each day.
Remote working is a little different. Remote working means that you’re working for a company and you are on on their staff; they pay taxes, they (probably) cover your insurance—but you’re not working in their office. As a remote worker, you work from home or from wherever you’d like to.
Generally, remote workers need to be available during the business hours of wherever their company’s main location is located. (West Coasters might not exactly love starting their day a 6am when the company’s Boston location opens at 9am.)
Freelancing, of course, gives you more flexibility with your time. On the other hand, though, you have to hustle to land new clients and there’s no guarantee of work coming in.
Remote working has roughly the same job security of an in-office job, though you’re still tied to your computer for 8ish hours (even if that place you’re tied to it is Bali). Most freelancers, too, will tell you that that whole “paid health insurance” thing isn’t something to be pooh-poohed.
It’s possible to find enough work as a freelancer to support you and it’s also possible to find a great remote working job. So which is better? Really, it’s up to you. Evaluate your goals and what “freedom” means to you, and then get started looking for the right gigs or job.
Your turn! Do you think you’d like freelance or remote work more? Let us know in the comments below!