Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Camilla Gill
Here’s the REAL low down on the pros and cons of freelancing vs office job from someone who’s tried both.
I’ve been freelancing for over three years now but before then I worked various office jobs. Since running this website, people write to me regularly asking how they can be digital nomads too and that is FANTASTIC!
Being a digital nomad and travelling the world is amazing, the freedom I have is unbelievable. The whole point of Your Green Grass Project is to inspire more people to get out there and live life for them, travelling and working online, achieving what they didn’t think was possible
BUT, freelancing or working remotely is not for everyone and that’s why I wanted to do a pros and cons of freelancing vs full-time job.
This will help you decide if being a digital nomad and working remotely could realistically be an option for you.
As always in my writing, I wanted to be as honest as possible. Many people get caught up in the Instagrammable aspects of working remotely, those bikini pics on the gram are a lot easier to fantasise about than the many late nights stressing out over a deadline.
Be prepared for far more cons than you expected.
Insta-ilty Vs Reality
Take a look at my Instagram and you would be forgiven for thinking that my life is one big long holiday. I post endless photos of me in a bikini, me at a beach party, me (again) in the sea splashing about.
Freelancing or working as a digital nomad, a lot of people seem to think it’s this dream lifestyle. . . days filled with coffee shops, attractive men, beaches and bikinis. . . ok, I admit it, that is pretty much my life. . .
But have you ever thought that, maybe, being a digital nomad isn’t so great?
My life on Instagram is curated to create an Insta-lity, a reality that is very far removed from my actual reality.
The gram is not real life.
Did you ever think that working freelance and being a digital nomad is bloody hard work, requiring tonnes of self-discipline and a willingness to fail on the daily?
Have you thought that actually your full-time job is pretty cushy and has far more pros than cons, but you just didn’t realise it before?
At least once a month, I wish I had a full-time job in an office, a job with security and paid holidays, with an employee who took care of my pension and taxes for me.
Prepare yourself, this list of pros and cons of freelancing vs office job is definitely focusing more on cons rather than pros.
Pros And Cons Of Freelancing Vs Office Job
1 Coffee Breaks
What I miss more than ANYTHING are coffee breaks with work colleagues.
Working in an office means that you get to enjoy short little catch-ups with your mates every now and then. Come mid-morning and someones made a round of tea and you’re all having a natter, gossiping over the fit guy who delivers the post.
And do you know the BEST thing about coffee breaks? You’re bloody being paid to have them!
Do you know the last time, I got paid to have a chat? . . . It was when I worked in an office.
When you’re a freelancer, you’re only being paid for the time you are working. Say bye-bye to the cups of coffee and biscuits.
As minor as it sounds, of all the pros and cons of freelancing vs full-time job, this is the con that gets to me the most!
A full-time job generally comes with a pretty fixed schedule, you wake up at 7:30, get to the office for 9 and then get to go home around 5 or 6.
With freelancing though, all ideas of a set schedules have been ripped up and thrown out of the window lonnngg ago.
I work pretty much seven days a week, in fact, I’m writing this right now on a Sunday afternoon.
Do I mind? No, because I still have control over my schedule. I can choose when to work and when to take free time, but as a freelancer, I work ten times harder and longer than I ever did when I worked in an office.
Again, I don’t mind because I love being in control of my destiny and this is something you really feel when you are self-employed.
But if you are someone who likes to leave their work at work and enjoy set time off, then the schedule of a freelancer is most definitely a con.
Loneliness And Depression
Writing a list of pros and cons of freelancing vs full-time job, I wasn’t sure whether to include this one because it’s a tad deep for a motivational blog.
Loneliness is a real con of working freelance. You spend the majority of your time alone in front of your computer and if you’re not careful, the effects of loneliness can come knocking.
Meanwhile, most office jobs are incredibly sociable and lots of companies organise after-work drinks or other fun work events.
Whereas my Christmas Work Parties involve me and the cat.
Of all the pros and cons of freelancing vs office job, this is definitely the most serious.
A side-effect of loneliness can be depression, so this is something that needs to be taken seriously if you are considering a career freelancing.
One way to combat loneliness is finding co-working spaces. I joined a co-working space in my home town, and I love it! I would go along for the day a few times a week and sit at my desk surrounded by other freelancers.
Co-working spaces are really taking off as the rise of digital nomadism takes over. I can only see them becoming more and more popular in the next few years.
A major pro of having a full-time job is the sense of job security that comes with it.
You don’t go to sleep at night worrying if you’re going to have enough work over the coming months. Freelancing is not for the faint hearted, over the years, there have been months when I really didn’t know where my next pay cheque was coming from.
If you don’t like feeling anxious about being able to pay your rent then perhaps a full-time job in an office would be a better fit for you.
However, if you don’t mind living life on the edge, then working freelance is a great way to have a very varied career. A career full of different challenges to get stuck into.
Personally, I love the fact that every month, I’m working on new projects and have to master new skills. It means my work life never get’s boring.
Conclusion To The Pros And Cons of Freelancing Vs Full-Time Job
Wow. I really went to town there didn’t I. Oops. But I’m glad I did because as I said at the beginning of this hate piece on freelancing, I wanted to give an honest overview of what it’s like to freelance.
I love being a digital nomad and working as a self-employed freelancer, I can’t imagine going back to an office job ever. For me the pros and cons of freelancing vs full-time job swing more towards the pros.
But what is most important to remember is that what works for me, might not work for you. You need to learn who you are and what you want out of life, learn not be influenced by some filtered Instagram feed.
This post probably deserves a follow-up piece on the more positive side of working freelance, stay tuned!