Freelance vs. Full-time Employees: The Pros and Cons

We understand that while a lot of people long to be their own boss and to work to their own schedule, there are also freelancers who envy the stability and security of a full-time job. The grass may look greener on the other side for both freelancers and full time employees, but when it comes to deciding what is best for you, you will have to consider your priorities and circumstances. Both fields have their own pros and cons, and what is right for you solely depends on how you want to work.

Today, we’re going to compare freelancing with full-time employment in different areas to help you make your decision on which is better for you.

1. Control vs Freedom

Full-time employees
Pros: Full-time employees often don’t have to think too much about their daily jobs, as there could be instructions from the higher management. This gives them room to “zone out” at times in the office.
Cons: Unless you’re a boss yourself, full-time employees have a boss who tells them what to do. Also, they must work within the rules of the organization that can be quite extensive. They have less control over their work and always must report to their seniors.

Freelancers
Pros: Freelancers have control over their jobs. They can choose what to work on and what not on. How long to work and when not to. If an assignment doesn’t interest them, they are free to reject it. They do have a different boss for each assignment, who gives them instructions, but they can always opt out of it.
Cons: Freelancers may have control, but they’re not totally in charge. When freelancers take a job, they’re working for someone else and are responsible for completing their work. Freelancers might be good at their skillset, but if they’re not skilled in organization and business management, there might be a learning curve.

2. Stability vs Flexibility

Full-time employees
Pros: Full-time employees have the security of an employment contract, a predictable working schedule, and a predictable income, that helps them to plan for the future by budgeting.
Cons: However, they do not have the freedom that is enjoyed by many freelancers.

Freelancers
Pros: Freelancers have the freedom to work whenever and wherever they like at their comfort; whether it’s at home or in a cafe. They’re not tied down to an office. They determine their own working hours. They can also offer services to multiple businesses simultaneously and earn more if they can meet the agreed deadlines.
Cons: Freelancers will not get paid for a single day that they don’t work and often there will be no guarantee of work unless they look for it. This will lead to a fluctuating income that is unpredictable at times.

3. Job and Financial Security

Full-time employees
Pros: Full-time employees are more secure as they get a regular paycheck each month that they can rely on. Even if you get fired, you will receive a notice a few months earlier or will be provided with some compensation.
Cons: Should the company they are working for go under, or need to retrench staff, full-time employees often don’t have much of a choice and must look for other forms of employment.

Freelancers
Pros: Freelancers experience something called “feast and famine” which is a term to describe getting lots of work in one month and struggling in the next month. However, if they have multiple long-term clients on hand, it may not affect them as much.
Cons: Freelancers might lose their regular clients in a moment’s notice, making it hard to plan for long-term finances.

Benefits

Full-time employees
Pros: Full-time employees can access benefits like medical, annual leaves, sick leaves, family leave and get EPF from the employer as well. Some companies also often provide skill training that helps you to develop your skills for free.
Cons: None.

Freelancers
Pros: None.
Cons: Freelancers often do not have any medical benefits or insurance, and do not get any annual leaves and have to adjust their savings to prepare for their retirement fund. Skill training are also under their own responsibility and prerogative.

4. Social Life

Full-time employees
Pros: Full-time employees get a ready-made social network. Since they work with the same people every day, they are likely to become friends with most or at least few of them. Companies also organize social events and trips often for their employees.
Cons: Full-time employees often have much less time to spend with their family, friends and life partner due to regular office times. There may be a lot of gatherings, dinner parties or social events that you might miss out on due to strict work hours.

Freelancers
Pros: Freelancers can always reschedule their work for later and spend their time with their friends, family and life partner. They can always be there for the people who need their time.
Cons: Freelancers are often alone as they work from their personal space most of the time. Even if they work on-site for a company, they are there only temporarily and will leave soon. So it’s more difficult for them to make friends and form stronger bonds.

5. Motivation

Full-time employees
Pros: Working for a single company provides you motivation in very structured ways. At the end of each year, you get performance reviews that determine whether you will earn more next year, get a bonus, an incentive or promotion.
Cons: After working for the same company for a while, your work motivation could get stale and it’ll be more difficult to find the spark to motivate yourself to get up from bed in the morning. This is often why turnover rates for modern companies are often higher than in the past.

Freelancers
Pros: Freelancers can always find motivation in various ways; whether it is seeing their work placed on a billboard or a magazine, or even the satisfaction of completing a job.
Cons: Freelancers must motivate themselves. They must find their own clients, do their own marketing, negotiate their own contracts, and this could get demotivating if they repeatedly fail to close a deal.

Conclusion

So, what is best for you? The answer lies in what you see as more important in your life: security or freedom. Now that you have seen both sides of the coin, their pros and cons, the choice depends entirely on your personality, and what you are looking for in your professional working life. There is no one path that is better than the other. it entirely depends on your personality, your choices and what you want from your professional life. There is nothing like one path is better than the other.

Remember, choosing one or the other will not bind you with it forever. You can always move back and forth between freelancing and full-time employment if your preferences change with time. Engage in some self-analysis, understand what you want from your career and then decide on the best choice.

Not sure how you can start your freelancing career? Why not try to find your next job at Rtist? Register yourself and get started here: https://www.rtist.com.my/RegisterAs.aspx

Good luck!

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THE CREATIVE PLAYGROUND

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© 2019 Zeroo Sdn. Bhd. All Rights Reserved.