There are a lot of pros and cons that come with freelancing. While some freelancers enjoy the liberty to pick their own hours, others hate the lack of structure. Whether you have a love or hate relationship with this form of employment and workload, there may be a point where it doesn’t quite fit the bill anymore. It may not just be about working with a remote team, lack of healthcare benefits, or the fact that you’re often working crazy hours. There’s a combination of things that align to nudge people out of the freelancing world. It’s not always the same formula, but if you’ve noticed any of the points below, then it may be time to move onto a new (possibly full-time) offer.
- Human interaction becomes a luxury
Let’s say you caught yourself having a full-blown conversation with your shadow the other day. That’s a sign you probably miss regular human interaction (among other things). In addition to a sense of purpose and alignment toward a set of goals, everyone needs some form of camaraderie when engaging in work. If your current freelancing situation doesn’t allow for social interaction (in the work setting or away from it), it may be time to find a better solution.
Often, freelancers still want to feel like they’re working with team members to achieve collective goals. Of course, a good OKRS software (objectives and key results software) could help bridge the gap, especially one from a company with tried and true methods like Workboard. However, not all freelance gigs offer this type of shared communication resource, and it can be difficult to meet expectations when assignments are simply sent over email. It can be frustrating and alienating when not only is your human interaction lacking, but it’s also not streamlined.
- You’re getting fed up with late payments
Are you waiting for a payment to come through months after the work is completed? If you know your client has a 30- or 45-day turnaround, you might be able to plan ahead for the gaps in payment, but if your client is consistently late with payments, that’s another issue and one that’s entirely too common in the freelance industry.
If you’re regularly frustrated by missing payments, it might be time to call it a day with freelancing. As a freelancer, you enjoy some freedom that an employee does not have. However, there is a certain risk associated with freelance work, which permanent employees do not face. As a permanent employee, you don’t have to worry about whether you can get enough jobs in the next few months to pay the bills—as a freelancer, you do.
Freelancers also don’t have dismissal protection and often face financial risk. There can be months between the start of an order and the time invoices are paid. You then have to use your own assets to bridge the gap. If you’re facing financial problems due to late payments, you can try accessing personal loans at your local institutions. For instance, if you live in Oregon, North West Private Lending offers some of the best personal loans in Oregon. You can see if you qualify for a business loan or a personal loan to carry you through until your next payment comes in. Just remember, credit history, credit qualification, interest rate, and the loan amount will all be a part of the conversation.
- You have no life
It doesn’t matter where you work, a good work-life balance is what you need to take the edge off. Sure, a work-life balance means different things for different people, but in general, it has to be present. The great thing about mainstream work is that you have stipulated work hours. With freelancing, you work when work’s available, and you work until the work is done, even if that means pulling a week of all-nighters. A standard workday doesn’t sound so bad when you can barely see straight after so many hours in front of a screen. It gets even worse when you can no longer differentiate between weekdays and weekends. Once the lines become this blurred, take it as a wake-up call and consider making the transition back to a typical office environment.
- You’re tired all the time
Even if your job description includes sleeping all day, you’ll get tired at some point. When there’s ample work, you need to make hay once the sun shines. This formula could end up burning you out so much that you can’t even enjoy all the money you make. If you’re too tired even to spend your money, that’s an indication that it’s time for a change.
- You can’t find clients
Sometimes, it’s not a lack of motivation that makes it hard to pick up the slack. Sometimes, you may not be able to find anyone willing to hire you. Sure, dry spells are common in freelancing, but a two-year dry spell is practically unemployment. You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you to look for other prospects at this point.