Core Traits Inform the Pros and Cons of Freelancing

Freelancing by pool

Freelancing has become far more appealing of late because of the uncertainty that the COVID-normal work environment presents. However, freelancing does not simply mean you transport your corporate workload to your home office. For everything you gain in the home, there are benefits you give up, so it’s important to look at the pros and cons of freelancing, before you put down your swipe card and pick up your free lance.

Personality Traits

Core personality traits play a huge part in freelancing success; in fact, they are probably the major stockholder. If you don’t have the personality for the gig economy, you’ll probably end up white-knuckling your workload and it will become a miserable experience. Burn Out is a serious side-effect so you need to consider the following qualities of a successful freelancer and then ask yourself if they’re a solid match for you.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking these will become your traits once you’re established as a freelancer, you need to possess most of them beforehand. If you are still a work in progress, there is nothing wrong with that, it simply indicates you’re still in the transition phase of becoming a freelancer. You should naturally be:-

  1. Autonomous
  2. Disciplined
  3. Organised
  4. Priority Minded
  5. Motivated
  6. Professional
  7. Flexible
  8. Resilient
  9. Financially Responsible
  10. Networking Ninja

Don’t mistake these for buzzwords: these core values should come naturally to you and be part of your current process, before the skillset you offer clients. Look at your house – is it organised? Look at your credit card – are you financially responsible? Look at your social networks – are you a butterfly? How you are in your day-to-day existence is going to indicate whether some traits are pros or cons because freelancing is as rewarding as it is challenging and you need to decide which works for you.

Here are the real reasons why people give up the 9-5 rat race and opt for the freelancing lifestyle. Is this what gets you out of bed in the morning?

The Pros Of Freelancing

  1. Freedom – flexible hours and environment
  2. You’re the boss – you set every rule and run the entire business
  3. You choose the clients, therefore you choose the work
  4. More room for passion projects – do what you love
  5. Zero commute – good for road rage and the environment
  6. No office politics, corporate attire, cringe-worthy retreats or unnecessary meetings
  7. No proforma performance reviews or adhering to futile corporate values
  8. Unlimited earning potential as you set your own rates
  9. No latte factor – save on costs like lunch, coffees, parking, public transport
  10. Setting the direction of your own life

The Cons Of Freelancing

  1. Feeling isolated or disconnected from colleagues
  2. Constantly hustling for new work
  3. Bottleneck workflow
  4. Inconsistent cash flow – feast or famine
  5. Several clients instead of a single boss
  6. Run the entire show – marketing, contracts, invoicing, troubleshooting, office supplies, taxes, and sales. You do everything.
  7. No paid time off – no Sick Leave, Annual Leave, Maternity/Paternity Leave
  8. Sole responsibility – if you’re injured or caring for kids, no one covers you
  9. Pay your own taxes & your own superannuation
  10. Feeling overwhelmed and not taking time for yourself

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages

Ironically what some people see as an advantage others see as a disadvantage, which is why core personality traits are key. Do you consider the following advantageous or disadvantageous?

  • Being your own boss
  • Responsible for all the finances
  • Securing all the work
  • Managing work-life balance

So the takeaway is whether you have the characteristics to be a successful freelancer. If you don’t have all of them it doesn’t mean you can’t get there. If you are motivated you can get anywhere.

Lisa Comerford

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