Freelancing Is Growing in Popularity: Is It the Right Fit for You?

AdobeStock_171971440.pngIf you've ever considered working as a freelancer, you may have felt that this goal was simply a pipedream and destined to never see the light of day. You are not alone in this; freelancing is a common practice among those in the workforce. But, could you make a career out of purely contract work? While this kind of lifestyle may not be suitable for everyone, nor can it provide immediate financial stability, 50.9% of Americans could be working for themselves as soon as 2027, according to Upwork’s 2017 Freelancing in America study. Of the percentage slated to emerge in the coming years, about 47% of them will be millennials.

Before you decide to up and quit your nine to five, try working as a freelancer alongside your primary source of income to ensure that it's truly a good fit for you and to start building up your client base. It’s also good to have a financial safety net and a backup plan if and when you decide to make the jump from part-time to full-time freelancing.

The estimated percentage of those working as contractors state that the benefits outweigh the cons. While you are trying to figure out if this would be a good career path for you, consider these upsides of freelancing first.

The restrictions of a typical nine to five workday are slowly becoming obsolete. With adults yearning to revisit their education later in life, doctors having limited schedules, and couples opting to have children at a later age, the need to have a flexible schedule has become increasingly prevalent. By electing to do freelance work, you’re allowed to claim control over your day and therefore can do all the things that you always wished you had time for.

The Commute
Are you sick and tired of sitting in traffic for well over an hour to get to work? Or waiting for a bus that never seems to be running on time? Like many other Americans, your commute to work is probably a constant source of frustration, often feeling like a dark cloud hanging over your workday. Not only does working as a contractor eliminate the aggravation of a morning and evening commute, but it's also economically advantageous as you conserve dollars that would otherwise be spent on public transportation or gas.

Technology Makes Everything Better
Many positions are done entirely in front of a computer screen, meaning you can perform the same work at home as you could in the office. With technology constantly improving, the need to physically be somewhere is becoming a thing of the past. While most companies do offer work from home options, freelancing is a way to guarantee you can always be in the comfort of your home or favorite coffee shop, while still earning a paycheck. 

Be Your Own Boss
Show of hands, who has worked for someone that they're not particularly fond of? Working somewhere never guarantees you’re going to like your boss. Even if it’s a great company, with good benefits, friendly coworkers, and you love what you do, it could all be clouded by the fact that you don’t like who you work for. As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You are the one who makes the decisions, negotiates the terms of each contract, and most importantly, chooses who you'd like to work with. 

Whether you’re interested in freelancing full time or considering it as a new side hustle, working as a contractor is an option that is very alluring for many people. Work no longer means punching in at nine and punching out at five, only to sit in an hour of traffic or miss your train. With the future within reach, exploring the possibilities of how a typical work day will change is the best way to figure out what best suits your particular needs or lifestyle. With the working world shifting in a new direction, it may be something to consider. You may find yourself asking why you didn't choose to travel down this path sooner.