A freelance career can be extremely rewarding. You can set your own schedule, pick and choose your clients, and work at your own pace. But while the life of a freelancer may seem glamorous and exciting, this line of work has its ups and downs. And sometimes, there are more downs than ups.
If your business isn’t going well or generating enough income, you may consider going back to work full-time. This is certainly one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make career-wise; however there are tell-tale signs that it's time to throw in the towel.
#1 You’ve Blown Through Your Savings Account
Freelancers truly know the definition of feast or famine. When it rains it pours, but things can dry up quickly, and it’s not uncommon for some freelancers to go a week (or longer) without steady work. This is certainly trying, especially if you have a mortgage, car payment and other expenses. And while having a savings account can help you survive slow periods, it's not always enough. Besides, if you're blowing through your savings account and you're unable to replenish the account, giving up freelance life for a full-time job might be the only way to protect your cash cushion.
#2. You Can't Afford Health Insurance
Unfortunately, freelancers are responsible for their own health insurance. And if you have a family, monthly premiums might be out of reach. You can either skip buying a policy and pray that you don't experience a medical emergency, or you can choose a health plan with a ridiculously high deductible.
Ultimately, you have to decide what’s best for your family. However, if you have medical issues, a family, or if you're getting older, you need reliable coverage; and getting a full-time job with benefits might provide the coverage you need. Depending on the job, the company may pay all or a percentage of your premiums, which reduces your out-of-pocket expense.
#3. You Don't Have a Personal Life
Since you're responsible for your income, making a living freelancing may require working long hours around-the-clock — especially if you don't have many high-paying assignments. Additionally, freelancers don't have sick leave or paid vacations, which means you may have to work through sicknesses or bring work on vacations if you can’t afford to take off a week.
It might not be an issue if you can handle this way of life. Perhaps you feel that it’s a fair trade-off for a flexible schedule and freedom. But if you feel that work has taken over your life, a traditional 9-to-5 might save your sanity. You can go to work, come home, and leave the office behind you.
#4. You Don't Work Well by Yourself
Many freelancers work from home — alone. This is the ideal setup for an introvert or those who’re easily distracted in an office setting. But if you’re an extrovert and thrive off daily interaction with others, this life might not be for you.
Rather than work, you may spend the majority of your day on social networks. This can impact productivity; and if your income starts to suffer, it might be time to head back to the office.
Do you have what it takes to be a freelancer? Would you consider turning to a full-time job? Please have your say in the comment section below.
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