7 Downsides of Being a Freelancer ...

Jelena

7 Downsides of Being a Freelancer ...
7 Downsides of Being a Freelancer ...

Last time I wrote about freelancing, it kind of occurred to me that I’ve pointed out only the positive aspects. Now, I still think freelancing is a creative, liberating job but I’ve also wanted to point out that, like every job, it has some bad sides too. So, if you’re thinking about letting your creative genius out and starting a business on your own it’s only fair to give you a complete information, right? So, yup, freelancers like their career choice even though it involves some risks. Not all is black and white even on the Internet so be prepared to face some of these 7 challenges:

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1

No Live Communication

No Live Communication Photo Credit: joshfassbind.com

Messages can be misinterpreted and there’s even funny story about a simple grammar mistake that saved a person’s life to back that up. Facial expressions and body language can sometimes speak louder than the actual words plus, asking questions and receiving answers and additional info in person is much easier and less time consuming.

2

Good and Bad Competition

Good and Bad Competition Photo Credit: MAMJODH

I think everybody should feel free to develop their talents and find different, creative ways to use them. This is, of course, a good, healthy dose of competition that might cause you to lose some jobs at first but will help you become better in the long run. The real problem is the other type of competition- the bad one. You see, I’ve seen plenty of freelancers that cheat in order to get a certain job. Presenting other people’s work as their own, offering to get the job done for a ridiculously low price and then raising the price to normal after they have been selected or posing as somebody else to fit the profile… and that’s just some of their tactics! They can’t hurt you in the long run because their lack of skill or professionalism will show sooner or later but you’ll have to agree that they bring bad reputation to the table and they make employers become very rigorous and reluctant to trust other freelancers.

3

No Dressing up for Work

LOL, I guess this can be an advantage and a disadvantage in the same time. Being able to work in your PJs and not having to fix your hair and make-up is definitely a good thing. But, I kind of like that business look and the idea of shopping for work clothes. Now, corporative woman stereotypes aside, tell me have you ever seen a cute business outfit and thought, “Ah, I wish I had to dress up for work.”?

4

Price Competition

Price Competition Photo Credit: y0aimee

Most employers know that the amount of money they will pay is directly proportional to the quality of work or even “fame” they will receive in return. They know the usual rates and are ready to make a compromise that will make both sides happy. Big, famous freelancers have higher rates because they don’t only claim they can get the job done, they have a portfolio filled with examples of work done for high profile clients. Motivated freelancers working their way up to the big league can do a great job for a considerably less amount of money while the ones whose primary goal is to scam somebody into sending some money in advance set up very low, attractive rates. So, you’ll need to “categorize” yourself and remain open for compromises without having the feeling that you need to “fit in” or “settle for less” in order to get considered for the job.

5

Scams

It means getting the job done and not receiving any financial compensation for it! I’m sure one in every three freelancers has a bad experience like this one to share. It usually happens in the beginning of your freelancing career when you don’t know how to protect yourself. Don’t get me wrong, scams can happen in real life too but at least then you know how a person looks and can find ways to contact it. On the Internet, however, all you have is an e-mail address and a name, which might be fake. Freelancing sites can help protect you but not even they can locate that person if the personal info provided is fake.

6

Immoral or Illegal Offers

Immoral or Illegal Offers Photo Credit: MikeWu

Every freelance writer has certain fields of interest, some specialize in just 2-3 categories while some find writing about everything and everyone an ideal opportunity to do research, learn new things and grow in both personal and professional way. However, every once in a while an immoral or even illegal offer may be presented to you. I personally have very bad opinion on gambling and escort services, these things are illegal in most countries and I certainly wouldn’t write content for sites that promote and earn money out of these. Now having this offered to you in a polite and civilized manner is one thing, but it can get pretty irritating and even insulting when you are bombarded with the comments like “Why not?”, “it’s no big deal!”, “Why are you so stuck up?” etc.

7

People That Don’t Take It Serious

People That Don’t Take It Serious Photo Credit: Chealion

Being a freelancer is a profession like all others and some writers, programmers, virtual assistants, designers etc. even have offices and a whole team of skilled colleagues ready to jump in and do their part of the job. However, there will always be people that are either too jealous or too stuck in the past to accept that this is a real job, not a leisure activity. It’s not a “little job”! Freelancers can be busy working too and the fact somebody is a freelancer doesn’t mean you’re free to interrupt him/her anytime you feel like having a chat or a cup of coffee.

This post is not meant to scare you, ladies and gents, but to prepare you for things that might go wrong and help you avoid being financially or emotionally hurt. All freelancers face some of these things at some point of their career but refuse to let them affect their desire to go on. Right freelancers? C’mon, share some of your negative experiences and useful tips on protecting yourself and your business.

Top Photo Credit: Mac Users Guide

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