Misconceptions on Freelancing

By Mommy Donna and Kib - March 05, 2019

I have been doing freelancing jobs for the past ten years, and I have written in the past why I need to stop working outside (see post here).  I have no regrets about being a freelancer despite the yoyo income that I have been experiencing every now and then.  I was able to see my son grow and support his passion.  On the other hand, I was able to expand my network and discover and learn new skills.  Working from home made me be a multi-skilled individual.

However, there are still a lot of people who don't seem to really understand the world of freelancing, particularly those who have a regular day job.  They thought that freelancing jobs do not offer stability and more of a gig economy.  I must admit that I agree with some of their arguments on working from home, but they still do not know a lot about this world.  They would only learn about it once they also dared to take that plunge and join the bandwagon.

Recently, I worked part-time as a college instructor.  When my co-faculty asked me about my background, I can see in their faces that they find me a bit 'weird'.  I do a lot of things and they are amazed at how I was able to manage all of my commitments and not get tired (well, actually, I get tired.). I said jokingly, "Ganun talaga, mahirap ang buhay, need iba't ibang pagkakakitaan." (Well, that's life, you need to have different opportunities in order to survive.)

Kidding aside, one thing I learned in my freelancing career is that you have to have different income streams, both passive and active.  

Here are some of the misconceptions of people regarding freelance jobs:

1.  Freelance jobs are NOT professional jobs.  I must say that it is both true and untrue.  True in a sense some freelance jobs that you might have been far from your real profession.  On the other hand, it is untrue because freelance jobs also require the same work ethics as those who are working in a corporate setting.  Freelancing gives you an opportunity to widen your horizons and not just settle on the skill that you can learn in an office setting.  Freelancing gives you a chance to discover new skills that you never imagined doing if you continue doing a job aligned in your profession.  

2.  Freelancers DO NOT pay taxes.  Sadly, there are still a lot of freelancers out there who are trying to escape paying taxes.  Nowadays, there is a strong campaign for freelancers to pay taxes accordingly.  Just like what I've said in my previous blog (read about it here), paying taxes also has personal benefits, apart from helping the government fund the projects that will also help our country in the long term. 

3.  Freelancing DOES NOT pay well.  If you were able to find a good job and employer, I can assure you that freelancing can give you a comfortable life.  There are cases that you will have a hard time at first because you are still building your online reputation and network, but once you were able to prove your worth, you can start demanding for higher pay.  You can hear success stories of some freelancers who were able to travel the world, buy their own house, and drive their own car because of their freelancing income. Again, for you to be able to achieve that kind of time and income freedom, you also need to sacrifice for the meantime.

4.  Freelance jobs are only for those people who are lazy and do not have dreams in life.  It's so funny that people who work from home are often regarded as lazy people.  People never know that a freelancing job is also hard (and sometimes harder than a regular job).  Freelancers spend longer hours because of multiple jobs, both online and offline.  In addition to that, since a home is not really designed for office work, there are cases that a freelancer gets distracted by the mess inside the house, the noise of the kids, and the chores that you have to do in-between.  The only difference between a freelancer and an office worker is that a freelancer has flexible hours to do work compared with an office worker that there is a specific work schedule.  Freelancers are paid by the number of hours they rendered, which is why need to work doubly hard.

5.  Freelancing DOES NOT have career advancement.  If you are thinking about climbing the corporate ladder, you may say that.  However, the beauty of doing freelancing is that you can create your own success ladder!  You can give a title to yourself without others assigning it to you.  You can be the CEO of your company or Director of Operations of the virtual company you're working with.  The title that you can give to yourself can also give a good impression to your clients, that you are good in your craft.  

On the other hand, when a freelancer goes back to working in the corporate world, there are cases that his/her freelancing job won't be credited as work experience.  We can say that life is cruel outside, but then again, let us remember that it's a different world too, so we must conform to their norms.

Freelancing is a risk, and that's a fact.  Now that it is becoming popular, looking for an online job is becoming harder and harder these days.  Be patient and wise in looking for a job, be nice to the people online, build good connections, and for sure you will be able to build a good freelancing career.

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