To freelance or not to freelance – Pros and cons of entrepreneurship

Are you tired of your boring 9-to-5 job in a stuffy office? Do you want to be your own boss and work from anywhere in the world? Well, freelancing might be just the thing for you!

As a tech professional, you have the skills and knowledge to be successful in the world of freelancing. But, as with anything in life, there are pros and cons to freelancing as well. In this article, we’ll explore both sides of the coin so that you can decide if becoming a freelance developer is the right next step to take in your career.

Pros of freelancing

1. Being your own boss

As a freelance developer, you’re in charge of your own destiny. You get to set your own hours, choose your own clients, and work on projects that interest you. No more dealing with unreasonable clients or endless amounts of regulations and bureaucracy, or spend half your time producing slideware for upper management.

You have the freedom to work on your own terms and create the work-life balance that works for you. Want to work 80%? No problem at all. Interested in taking a couple of months of vacation in between projects? Go for it.

2. Possibility to make more money

When you work as a freelance developer, you have the potential to earn more money than you would in a traditional 9-to-5 job. You have the power to decide if you want to invest a great part of your income on ping pong tables and deluxe coffee makers. Being able to define your own hourly rate and the cost structure of your company usually leads to higher income for you as a professional.

If you’re in need of some extra cash, nothing is limiting you from taking on more projects or working longer hours. In addition, you can deduct business expenses on your taxes, such as your home office, equipment, and travel, as well as manage your taxes effectively through your own company. With the right clients and projects, you can make a super comfortable living as a freelance developer.

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3. Freedom to work from anywhere

One of the biggest perks of freelancing is the ability to work from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection, and you can work from the beach, a coffee shop, or the comfort of your own home. This flexibility allows you to travel and explore the world, or enjoy and stay at your own happy place. The amount of different projects available lets every freelance developer experience the type of entrepreneurship they have been dreaming of.

Cons of freelancing

1. Isolation and feeling of loneliness

While working from home or a remote location can be liberating, it can also be isolating. As a freelance developer, you don’t always have coworkers to chat with or team meetings to attend. It takes more from freelance developers to stay social: you have to make a conscious effort to stay connected with other professionals in your field, whether through online groups or in-person networking events.

The lack of social interaction can be challenging for some people, so it’s important to consider if you’re comfortable with the occasional loneliness you might face as a freelance developer. Luckily, there are also many ways to make freelancing less lonely, such as working from co-working spaces or choosing projects with regular visits to the office of the client. This blog post gives more concrete tips on how to tackle loneliness as a freelance developer.

2. Lack of job security

One of the biggest downsides of freelancing is the lack of job security. You’re not guaranteed a steady stream of work or income, and you’re responsible for finding your own clients. You have to be proactive about marketing yourself and networking with relevant people to find new opportunities. And, if a project suddenly falls through or a client decides to cut ties, you’re out of luck.

So, while freelancing offers the freedom to be your own boss, it also comes with the risk of uncertainty. We at Thriv help to alleviate this uncertainty by taking over the project search for you. Spend your time doing what you love while we do the sales and marketing for you, expanding your network of available projects. You have no rush leaving your safe position as a traditional employee until we have found your ultimate dream project.

3. Lack of benefits

Unlike traditional jobs, freelancing doesn’t come with benefits like health insurance, paid time off, or retirement savings plans, traditionally offered by employers. You’re responsible for providing your own insurance and saving for your own retirement. This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting out. You have to factor in these costs and uncertainties when deciding if freelancing is right for you. We at Thriv are always here to help our talents navigate these issues. We even offer a wide range of benefits to the freelancers in our network, varying from insurance contact people to deals with occupational healthcare providers.

Taking the leap to entrepreneurship

In conclusion, freelancing as a tech professional can be both rewarding and challenging. It offers the freedom to work on projects that you enjoy and the flexibility to choose when and where you work. However, it also requires self-discipline, business acumen, and the ability to handle the uncertainty that comes with being your own boss.

At Thriv, we understand the pros and cons of freelancing and aim to support our freelancers by connecting them with exciting projects and clients. We also offer resources and partners to help them manage their business effectively and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.

Ultimately, whether freelancing is the right career path for you depends on your personal and professional goals. If you're looking for more control over your career and the freedom to choose your projects, freelancing may be a great fit for you. You just need to take the leap to entrepreneurship in order to find out!

Ready to discover the future of work? Let’s talk!

Michelle Goh - Head of Talent

Michelle Goh

Head of Talent