Do you want to start freelancing? Read on so you understand the pros and cons of being a freelancer before getting started.
Every disappointment, they say, is a blessing in disguise.
When Heather Aaron was downsized in 2016, little did she know what nature had in store for her.
Although she had been working remotely since 2007 while keeping a nine-to-five job, her layoff provided her with ample opportunity to start freelancing in 2016.
In this feature, we discuss the freelance journey of one of America’s finest ad strategists, the pros and cons of being a freelancer, and how to overcome some freelancing challenges.
Advantages of Freelance Work
Heather Aaron’s transition from a traditional corporate job to a freelance career was marked by numerous benefits. One of the most appealing aspects she noted was the increased control over her life. As a freelancer, she emphasized the freedom to manage her time, choose her clients, and decide on the type of work she wanted to undertake. This autonomy allowed her to integrate personal tasks seamlessly into her work routine and prioritize her health and well-being, ultimately resulting in reduced stress levels and an improved quality of life.
Additionally, freelancing offered Heather the advantage of a flexible work schedule. Unlike the rigid nine-to-five routine of traditional employment, she found herself liberated from the constraints of fixed office hours. This flexibility not only boosted her efficiency but also provided her with the opportunity to avoid lengthy commutes, fostering a better work-life balance. Moreover, freelancers like Heather can tailor their daily schedules to match their energy levels and individual preferences, enhancing overall productivity and job satisfaction.
Disadvantages of Freelance Work
Despite the array of benefits, freelance work comes with its share of challenges. Heather shared her insights on some of the drawbacks she has encountered throughout her journey. Social interaction, once abundant in a traditional office setting, can become scarce for freelancers working from home. The absence of regular face-to-face interaction can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. To combat this, Heather recommended engaging in networking activities, both in person and virtually, to maintain a sense of community and connection.
Financial responsibilities also present a challenge for freelancers. Unlike salaried employees, freelancers are responsible for handling their taxes, healthcare, and retirement plans. These additional responsibilities demand careful financial planning and discipline to ensure long-term financial stability. Heather emphasized the importance of setting up separate bank accounts for taxes and investing in retirement accounts like a Roth IRA to secure her financial future.
Overcoming Freelancing Challenges
Drawing from her experience, Heather offered valuable advice on overcoming freelancing challenges. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, she advocated for setting a structured routine akin to a traditional office schedule. This includes starting the day by getting dressed and creating a designated workspace. Such practices can help freelancers establish boundaries between work and personal life, fostering a sense of control over their work.
Moreover, Heather emphasized the significance of client acquisition. While online platforms offer opportunities to find clients, she believed that building relationships, networking, and receiving referrals were more effective ways to secure projects. Platforms like LinkedIn can be instrumental in connecting with potential clients and expanding professional networks.
Heather Aaron’s journey from corporate employment to successful freelancing highlights the multifaceted nature of freelance work. The pros and cons of being a freelancer are illuminated through her experiences, showing that while autonomy, flexibility, and improved work-life balance are evident benefits, social isolation and financial responsibilities are challenges that must be managed. Her story serves as a guiding light for aspiring freelancers, emphasizing the importance of strategic planning, disciplined time management, and a proactive approach to networking. Ultimately, Heather’s experiences underscore that navigating the freelance landscape requires careful consideration of both advantages and disadvantages, leading to a fulfilling and rewarding career path.
Heather Aaron is available for hire as a Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ad strategist.