Up until a few years ago, freelancing was a concept alien to many. There was a general lack of understanding and stigma around what it actually is and how it works. But things have changed over the last few years. Owing to the growing popularity and convenience of remote work in the present era, freelancing has become very common and people have begun to consider it as a full-time or part-time career choice.
However, the stigmas and myths associated with the industry are still a thing of the present. To this day, there are many who feel skeptical to tap into the industry because of the baseless notions they have heard about it or many who enter into the field with an overly glorified perception in mind.
Below we have mentioned five such freelancing myths that we commonly hear floating about.
1. Freelancers work on their own terms, they are their own bosses
As alluring as it may sound, it doesn’t work like that. Freelancers may not have a traditional boss or a supervisor breathing down their neck all the time, but that does not mean they are not answerable to anyone.
Freelancers work for clients, usually more than one at a time, who provide a set of instructions, terms, and certain submission deadlines for the projects/tasks. Those instructions and deadlines have to be met. Hence, the freelancer has to be available to respond to the clients’ queries in the meantime as well. Hence, doing this work in no way means you have all the freedom in the world.
2. Freelancing is unreliable and unprofitable
This is one of the most common freelancing myths. Not having a regular 9 – 5 setup does not mean freelancing is unreliable, or you don’t make enough money. If anything, once settled, you may be able to make more money than a regular job.
Sure, newbie freelancers do have trouble securing clients in the beginning. There might be times when you won’t be able to find a client for days on end. Payments also vary depending on the nature of work. Sometimes you may have to take tasks that pay less than the effort you put in, just to build your portfolio. So yes, freelancing isn’t an easy road. But once you have gained enough experience and built your portfolio and clientele, you can set your own prices for tasks, and you’ll hardly ever be out of work.
3. Freelancers can work whenever and wherever they want
Freelancing does allow flexibility of schedule and workplace, but it’s not as easy as you might think. There are deadlines to meet and clients to stay in contact with. Sometimes the deadlines are so short you have to work extra hours to complete the task on time. And when you are working with multiple clients, you’ll always have multiple deadlines to meet, so it gets pretty hectic. A certain time period also needs to be set when the clients can contact you.
Yes, you’re not bound by a contract and hence can choose if you want to take on a project or not. But once you do take on a project, you need to complete it with your full dedication, and that requires working and submitting tasks on time.
4. Freelancers have the liberty to work on projects that interest them
This is so far from the truth. Experienced freelancers may have the liberty of rejecting the tasks that don’t interest them, but newbie freelancers don’t. Freelancing is a very competitive industry, so in the beginning, you’ll be ready to accept any opportunity that comes your way, regardless of whether you like it or not, because you need the money. But on the positive side, you will learn a lot along the way and the effort will pay off in the long run.
5. Freelancing is not a real career
Just because you are not going to an office, you don’t have colleagues, or you don’t get extra benefits that people with regular jobs do, doesn’t mean your work is any less important. In fact, there are many people who started out as freelancers who are now successful business owners and doing much better than people with normal jobs. Freelancing is as real a career as any other. The road might be rough in the beginning, but persistence will get you places.
The gist is that freelancing or a regular 9 – 5 jobs, both have their own set of benefits and risks. None is superior to the other. If you want to pursue freelancing as a full-time career, do it. Don’t let these myths discourage you.