The Benefits of Being a Freelancer

Written by and posted on Jan 15, 2017

Photo of Woman Using Her Laptop

In the previous post, The Truth About Working From Home, I talked about some of the downsides people tend to overlook when they think about working from home and freelancing. Believe it or not, it’s not only the downsides that are often overlooked but the positive aspects of it as well. This is especially true for newcomers who aren’t quite sure rather or not this is the career they want to sink into and for people who don’t quite understand what freelancing has to offer. Freelancing itself provides some benefits and perks of which includes working from home. So what are some of these benefits I’ve come to enjoy?

You get to work whenever you want, sometimes.

One of the best things I’ve come to experience and enjoy during my time freelancing is the ability to get to work whenever I wanted, sometimes. For me especially, my most productive hours are during the evenings when my day is calmer and quiet.

When I was contracted to work at Pearson back in 2015, I had all the benefits of working from home, but I was required to operate a nine-to-five shift during the weekdays. This made it very difficult for me to adjust to my schedule, you know, considering how nocturnal I am. I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked and there were too many distractions during the day. Finding the balance between everything wasn’t as easy as I assumed it would be.

Now that I’m back into my regular work, my schedule is much more flexible than what it used to be. Regardless of what my most productive hours were, being able to adjust my schedule accordingly based on what was happening around me prevented a lot of stress and burnouts. So long as I’ve met my deadlines, I was able to enjoy myself and relax a bit more.

You also sometimes get to work wherever you want.

The next best thing to being able to work whenever you want is being able to work wherever you want. Quite often I find myself traveling with my laptop carrying my work with me as I go. Whether it be to a friend’s house, down the street, to school or even out of state. Not only does this ease the mind, but it can also be very healthy for you.

There are times where I would be in crunch mode cooped up in my room for days working non-stop. Not only was this unhealthy but my burnout rate would increase, and it would get very depressing. I’ve slowly started to grow tired and eventually even started hating everything I was working on. Having the ability to be able to work wherever I wanted has changed all of this.

The change of scenery gave me a new atmosphere of motivation and ideas to pull from, and I was also able to get fresh air. Fresh air is healthy for you, breathe lots of it. It helps keep the brain alive, trust me! The point is though, you won’t fully appreciate working from home until you start to understand why. Plus, planning your next mini-vacation while working on the side also allows you to enjoy yourself in the long run.

It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Your salary is not a set number.

Unlike working an employed job, being a freelancer breaks you away from having a set salary. It is true we have the potential to earn an hourly wage, but our payments work differently. They are rates. Unlike the regular paid hours, our hourly rates are based on however much we charge.

Sometimes I don’t even charge hourly rates. There are many occasions where it benefited me more to charge per project or milestone. It all depends on the circumstances or situations. The most remarkable part about this is that there are those rare occasions where I would work only a few hours out of the entire month and still make enough to have a full-time paycheck. You are never limited to just one client and price.

Your rates will also increase as you become better in your career.

Not a lot of people know this, but the more experience you gain and the better you become, you’ll realize you don’t work as long as you used to. The better you become, the less time you spend in production. I kid you not. Here’s a perfect image to sum up what I just said on CG Frog:

Image from CGfrog about never underestimating your worth

When I first started out freelancing, my rates were ridiculously low for the amount of work I did and sometimes it was even free. I wasn’t confident enough in how much I was genuinely worth and my only legitimate excuse was I needed to build a portfolio to show this. If you are starting off as a student, it is okay, but at the same time, it is also not. Don’t underestimate yourself or your clients will and take full advantage of you (more on this in a future article).

It was thanks to one of my old bosses at an agency I use to freelance for that I was finally confident enough to raise up my rates and charge how much my work was truly worth. To this day I still think about this moment.

Your Tax Deduction Benefits

Let’s face it, taxes can be a bit rough. As freelancers, we go by the 25% – 30% rule. Which means that each paycheck we earn, 25% – 30% gets taken out and saved for taxes. This can be difficult sometimes especially if you are in dire need of money. Unlike having our taxes taken out of our checks when working an employed job, being a freelancer means you have to do it yourself. Is the temptation to spend high?

It may be one of the few downsides to being a freelancer but the one benefit we get that employees don’t is we get the benefits of a tax deduction. This deduction can also include the dedicated office you are using for work at home. The list of the kinds of deductions you can do and the restrictions on what kind of expenses you can deduct are pretty long, and there are many sources you can get with a simple Google search. Taking advantage of these deductions comes a long way and helps you save a lot more on your taxes. I know it did for me.

You are your own boss.

Lastly one of the most overlooked perks of all is that you are your own boss! I am in charge of my own schedule and clients. Being able to roam freely and work at my individual freedom has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It allowed me to be more creative but also allowed me to be more goal-oriented towards my short and long-term goals. Being in charge of how my own day goes really gives me that extra mile I need to get me throughout the day. I get to choose who I want as a client, and so do you.

I can’t tell you enough about all the different benefits you get when you freelance and/or work from home. These are just a teaspoon of all the beautiful things I have experienced so far. Think of this as just a nibble of a much bigger picture.

If you are thinking about quitting your day job now and jumping right off the boat, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you got enough saved up in your bank account to pay off at least two years worth of rent and food. It is tempting to swim when you can’t swim. Some of us have been doing this for years before we’ve quit our jobs, but some of us also started as students which allowed us to build up to where we are today. So what are some of your good experiences?


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About Me

Person standing with coffee mug with dog by his leg

Hello, my name is Tony, and I am an Experience Designer (XD). I create games, websites, and interactive experiences.

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