The 9 -to-5 business model is something of a historical accident.
It all began back in the 19th century when Victorian industrialists realized that the best way to organize factory labor around family life was to insist that workers came and worked during the day and then went home in the evening to tend to their families.
For over a century, this state of affairs persisted without ever being challenged. But with the internet and flexible working, things are finally beginning to change for a lot of people.
Having luxuries like the ability to choose when you work and how long you work used to be a pipe dream, especially for people in careers like HR. But thanks to technology and a bunch of new freelance agencies, these luxuries are now within the realm of possibility for vast swathes of the working population. Freelancers with the necessary skills are being sought left, right and center by large companies requiring their assistance.
Forbes estimated recently that over the next three years, the number of people with independent contractor status is expected to grow from 34 percent to 50 percent.
In other words, there’s going to be a seismic market shift where 16 percent of the total workforce are going to leave their regular day jobs and look for work in the freelance sector.
The attractiveness of deciding your own schedule, as well as the power to determine when you take a holiday, is causing many people to ditch their old careers and try life as a freelancer.
So what’s life like when you’re your own boss?
You Decide On Your “Work-Life Balance”
The work-life balance is something which has been discussed without end in corporate circles.
Companies have high-level meetings where they decide what they think are appropriate compromises in the never ending struggle between work and life.
But as a freelancer, there aren’t a bunch of bigwigs in the boardroom deciding your future. How you spend your time is down to you.
Some people will choose to work as many hours as God sends, including the weekends. Others might value their leisure more and take Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays off.
As a freelancer, you’ve got the choice.
You Will Inspire Others
People who become freelancers are often entrepreneurial in spirit.
They don’t want to be tied down to a big organization for years on end. Instead, they want to hop from job to job, trying new things and building their skill set.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward approach to life and one that often gains a tremendous amount of respect.
You’ll be amazed at just how many people draw inspiration from the example you set and wish that they could somehow do the same in their own lives.
You Stop Wishing And Start Doing
People stuck in boring, 9-to-5 jobs spend most of their time thinking about what their lives could be like if they had the courage to take the plunge.
As a freelancer, you don’t have a chance to contemplate what your life might be like in some alternate universe: you decide every day what your life will be like and how much money you make.
You stop fantasizing about how things could be and do what is necessary to make things happen.
You Might Not Get Paid
One of the downsides to becoming a freelancer and working for yourself is that you might not get paid.
If you’ve been in a career for years, you’re used to having a specific payday, but in the freelance world, regular paydays don’t exist.
You can sometimes go for months without getting any money in before receiving a massive injection of cash once a project is completed.
Given that some people won’t pay, it’s a good idea to get freelance insurance to keep your cash flow healthy.
Non-paying customers can be a real challenge for some freelancers, especially those who rely on their income to finance their advertising.
You’re Never Off Duty
Another potential difference between regular jobs and freelance jobs is that you’re never really off duty.
Granted, more and more jobs expect you to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but among freelancers, this is more common.
There will be times when you need to take a break from your evening workout at the gym to take a phone call or respond to an email.
And there will be times when you’ll have to excuse yourself from family meals to make a conference call to a client in a different time zone.
The cool thing is that everything you do is on your own terms, so you never feel as if it is being forced on you.