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Comparing Online Freelancing to Traditional Employment
(Page 4 of 6)
Management and Supervision
Ah, freedom! Everyone loves the idea
of giving the boss the middle finger and being independent. And it is
true that this is one of the greatest benefits of freelancing. However,
no matter what anyone tells you, the freedom is not absolute. Plus, it
has its own hidden downsides that can be a big problem for some people.
- Independence: You are in charge of your
own business. You do not have a boss in the sense that you do as a full-time
- In Charge of Your Success: You, and pretty
much you alone, are responsible for your success. If you are skilled
and motivated you can advance your career as far as you want to take
it, without having other people holding you back.
- No Long-Term Relationships: While you do
have to deal with clients, which are sort of like bosses (see below),
you don’t need to do so for very long. If you find someone hard
to work for, you can finish the project you’re doing and then “fire”
them simply by not working for them in the future.
- No Office Politics: You don’t have
to worry about sucking up to the boss (and the boss’s boss, etc.)
to try to advance your career. You won’t have to worry about losing
out on important promotions for stupid reasons that have nothing to do
with your ability or effort.
- Job Security: You can’t be laid off
or fired (but again, see below).
- You Do Still Have Bosses: You don’t
have a boss as with a full-time job, but you really aren’t your
own boss at all: your clients are. See this topic for a full discussion.
- Annoying Clients: It’s very difficult
to tell much about a client before you agree to work for them. Some are
really excellent people, some are average, and then there are the nightmare
clients, the ones who make freelancers regret ever deciding to go off
on their own. These clients refuse to pay; they try to get you to do
work beyond the project scope without offering to pay extra; they treat
you disrespectfully; they don’t value your time; they act like
they’re doing you a big favor by hiring you for a task. You can
give them the heave-ho after the project is done, but some projects can
last a long time (or seem like it!)
- Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation Mandatory:
As mentioned earlier, with freelancing the rule of thumb is: “no
work, no pay”. Bosses may be annoying, but they provide a motivational
“fear factor” that many workers rely upon to force them to
be productive (whether they admit this or not). When you freelance, you
must motivate yourself to find projects and complete them, and some people
find this difficult, especially at the start.
- No Career Guidance: In addition to freelancing
requiring short-term day-to-day self-motivation, it also demands discipline
in terms of planning and building your career. There are no annual reviews,
mentors or other tools to keep you on track to your long-term goals.
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The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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