So you’re thinking of becoming a freelance designer, huh? Pat yourself on the back because it takes a strong, confident person to even consider doing such a thing. Even though you can set your own schedule and make money doing what you love, you’re taking the road less traveled, at least these days.
You should know that a freelance designer career comes with its own set of pros and cons. Some problems include difficulty finding steady clients, which affects income, and lack of health benefits.
The pros are there, too. Did you know that 45 percent of freelancers make more money than those who are employed? If you have the drive, you can certainly make a successful career out of freelance designing. When that happens, it can be extremely rewarding, despite all the challenges.
However, thinking about taking the leap into freelance and actually doing it are two different things. It can be scary and crippling.
We’re going to help you scale the last hurdle by exploring the top six reasons for becoming a freelance designer.
1. It Allows You to Embrace Your Creativity
In freelance design especially – but also with writing, editing and photography – you have the opportunity to be truly creative. Not only that, you have the opportunity to let your personality really shine. This isn’t something that’s usually afforded at normal jobs.
Traditional desk jobs don’t encourage creativity, nor do they allow you to showcase personal talents – at least not in the same sense a freelance designer career does. As a designer, you might come across a great design you’d love to try, but you can’t because it doesn’t adhere to requirements set by a client or manager. As a freelancer, you have the opportunity to try it, and you can work with clients to make a design work for them.
In other words, you have a lot more freedom when it comes to using your creativity. Needless to say, this is great for people that love to experience such a thing.
2. It Opens up New Avenues and Opportunities
Your primary source of income may be working as a freelance designer, but you also have the opportunity to grow your skillset.
For instance, one client might ask you to learn a new programming language. Another might ask that you try your hand at producing copy for a site. Of course, these are just a couple examples of what could play out.
In freelance, you always have the opportunity to grow, and that’s ideal for independent and entrepreneur types.
3. You Set Your Own Schedule
You have the freedom to choose your clients, the amount of work you take on and the total amount of time you invest in your career. You are the sole proprietor of your schedule. You can choose to work part time, full time or even something between. Furthermore, when you need more money, you can take on extra work to make up the difference.
When you’re doing great financially, you can take more personal or free time. Unless you take on a job that requires you to work a specific schedule, you can work whenever you want. This can be a problem if you have difficulty managing your time wisely and staying productive.
4. Your Success is Your Own
Imagine this: You’re at work and your boss keeps handing you more work, while the rest of your colleagues waste their time. The problem is, you’re too good at what you do. So the responsibility is piled on your shoulders and everyone else gets to be lazy, and everyone gets to ride on your coattails to success. We’ve all been there.
In freelance, this doesn’t happen. Ever. Your success is your own. The only person responsible when you fail is you. So if you slack off and procrastinate too much, you’re going to suffer in the end and so will your paycheck. Adversely, when you work hard and really pour your heart into something, it’s you who will reap all the benefits of that success.
There is nothing more satisfying or rewarding than success born of your own blood, sweat and tears.
5. You Get to Work From Home, or Wherever You Want
One glaring benefit that makes everyone envious of freelancers is that they get to work from home or a place of their choosing. If you work better in an office setting, you can always head to a local library or rent an office to work out of.
If you so choose, you can also work from home out of a personal office. It’s best to set aside a separate space for working – because it keeps you more productive – but regardless, it’s still great to be at home.
This eliminates any wasted time you would spend commuting. It’s better for child care and can help you save money on things like day care. It’s an absolute godsend when there are scheduling conflicts and you need to tend to a family emergency – or something similar – at the drop of a hat.
6. You Get Holidays Off
Finally, you never have to work another holiday again, as long as you don’t want to. You don’t have to request days off when you need a break, either.
If you decide being a freelance designer is the right thing for you, then go ahead and take that plunge. It’s your choice, and that’s the absolute beauty of being a freelancer.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.