Deb Ng no longer works as a freelance writer and has a full-time gig. However, she still works from a home office and doesn’t sit in meetings or watch presentations that bore. The differences between full-time work from home and freelance work from home …
- Hours: Freelancers have more flexibility in the hours, but they also might work in the evenings and on weekends depending on projects and schedules. Full-timers work set hours like most in the corporate world. But then in the corporate world, people rarely work the standard 8 am to 5 pm anymore (at least in the U.S.). I attend PTA meetings, play tennis, volunteer, and take my kids to their appointments. Would full-time work allow for this? Not so sure.
- Employer: Full-timers only work for one client, don’t have to worry about quoting rates, bookkeeping, and marketing. Freelancers have to make all of this part of their jobs. Freelancers must manage multiple clients. However, if freelancers lose a client — they already (should) have other clients to keep things going. A full-timer losing a job has no other income (this doesn’t count those who might have a couple of gigs on the side).
- Benefits: Full-timers usually have benefits and freelancers don’t. Full-timers can go on a paid vacation with little guilt. Freelancers can go on vacation, but don’t get paid for it — which can lead to feeling guilty (some are great about it and others like me aren’t).
- Illness: Full-timers get sick days. Company sick days vary widely, but freelancers don’t get money when they don’t work unless they’ve built up passive income. When I don’t feel well, I use my laptop and rest on the sofa or on my comfy bed. How much I work depends on deadlines — just a matter of finding a compromise. But when I feel awful (flu), I’m out and I won’t force anything.
One thing about going freelance is that it has given me a more well-rounded life than before when I worked in the corporate world. Before, it was work and family. Now, it’s volunteer (much more and sitting on the boards, too), tennis, more family involvement, and work (more variety and people).
I just need to add travel (other than Austin!) to the mix. At least, it’s a greater mix than when I worked in the corporate world. I didn’t exactly take real vacations while in the corporate world but did sneak in a couple (one in 1998 and one in 2002).
Which type of career would you prefer? Why?