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The benefits of independent working: 3 reasons to go freelance today!

Have you considered taking the plunge and going self-employed? Now more than ever we are seeing people leave the 9-5 life behind to start their own businesses and work for themselves. The independent workforce, made up of freelancers, contractors, consultants, and more, are growing rapidly, with around 30% of the population in both the UK and the US being self-employed. This is only expected to grow even further, especially in light of the pandemic, where lockdown led to a number of people deciding to take completely different career paths.

Working for yourself has a whole variety of benefits that may be more suited to your lifestyle than a full-time job, and we are going to share with you our top three reasons why the independent workforce is becoming the dominant workforce in today’s society.

Pick and choose your projects

One of the biggest incentives of joining the independent workforce has to be the variety it brings with it. Unlike an employee, when you’re self-employed you’re also self-governing, giving you the power to say no to the projects that aren’t your thing, and yes to the ones that are! This can bring a much greater sense of enjoyment and fulfillment to your work when you’re able to dictate the projects you get involved with.

As an employee, you’re likely used to dipping in and out of different projects or tasks, using a variety of skills in the process. But perhaps you’re really good at one particular thing, and you also really enjoy doing that one particular thing – when you work for yourself you can tailor your workload to projects focused on those skills and interests. While working independently does mean looking for work more frequently, what it does mean is that you can be much more specific in what you do and really tailor your working week to look the way you want it to.

Another great benefit that comes with this is being in control of how your career evolves. You can take on projects that will compliment your portfolio of work, which can ultimately lead to greater future opportunities and winning new clients with ease.

Create a greater work-life balance

One of the biggest advantages to going self-employed has to be the work-life balance it creates. Many of you who are in full-time employment right now may have had a glimpse of the benefits remote working can create since many of us were forced to work from home throughout the lockdown. Whether you have small children, pets, or other responsibilities and commitments that require you to be at home or elsewhere during the day, these can be difficult to work around full-time employment.

This often results in having to use up your holiday, take unpaid leave, or simply not working as many hours, but this can have a detrimental effect on your income, leaving you without enough money to make ends meet.

The beauty of being self-employed is that you are your own boss. You get to choose when, where, and how you work, which gives you the ultimate flexibility to schedule work around your lifestyle. Whether that be due to family responsibilities, or you simply want to work a four-day week, you can make that happen as an independent worker.

It also means you can (for the most part) do your job from anywhere in the world. So, if you’d rather be sat by a beach somewhere instead of staring at the white walls of an office block, then that’s totally within reach as well, but the true benefit of being able to work anywhere in the world is the scope it creates for potential projects and opportunities. That opportunity you wouldn’t ever have applied for because it would require you to pack up and move halfway across the world could become totally within reach as the independent workforce culture continues to evolve globally.

Take control of your finances

A lot of people may shy away from the idea of working for themselves because with it comes the task of looking after your own finances, including being responsible for paying all of your taxes and filing your accounts on time each year.

Perhaps a lot of you are thinking what’s the point in working less and earning more when in actual fact that spare time will be spent trying to keep track of your earnings, or failing that, spending all that hard-earned income on an accountant to do it for you? But it’s not as scary as it sounds. If it was, why are there so many people doing it today?

Taking control of your own finances is very simple and a good accountant will ensure you’re maximizing your income whilst remaining compliant in the way you work. And the best part of all is you’ll also have way more control over how much you earn because you set your fees.

Indies tend to charge either an hourly, daily, or set rate per project, and being able to negotiate this upfront will allow you to plan ahead and budget for your needs.

There’s always pros and cons to both full-time employment and independent working, but when you consider the points raised here, you’ll be able to consider what feels right for you based on your income, lifestyle, and career goals.

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