Freelancing requires a different mindset and outlook on things from the employee mindset.
Each type of working has its benefits and downsides… This is just an overview of some of the differences, to show how freelancing is very different to working as an employee.
Employees seek direction. Freelancers create a path.
When you’re working for someone else, you tend to, or are required to, seek help with problems – or with what to do in general. As a freelancer, you are the boss. You seek solutions on your own, you decide what needs to be done. You carve out a path for the growth and continuing success of you business.
Employees take fewer risks. Freelancers need to take risks.
As an employee there’s normally not much need for taking risks in your work. You go to work, do your work, and go home. You have set tasks and duties to perform, and, unless you have a job like being a fireman, the average worker has a pretty risk-free day.
As a freelancer, just like any type of business owner or entrepreneur, risks are a part of your work. If you aren’t taking risks, you should start taking more, calculated risks to drive your business onward and upward!
Employees are specialists. Freelancers are generalists.
An employed person is usually in a specific role. While there may be many facets to that role, they are employed to perform a particular set of duties.
The freelancer on the other hand – even after they begin hiring outsourced help, or services such as an accountant – wears many hats and has no specific role. They are the business owner; marketer; salesperson; bookkeeper; website updater; strategist; social media manager; content creator; copywriter; proofreader; quality controller; project manager; financial planner; customer support; administrator…and more.
Employees get paid for their role. Freelancers get paid for results.
Most employees love paid holidays. Many even love non-paid holidays or, ahem, sick days. They feel secure in the fact that there will be a wage or salary on the way.
Freelancers can enjoy breaks, but more times than not, they do at least some work toward their business while on a break – partly because owning a business is great when it’s working and they can’t (don’t want to) leave it alone, and partly because they are in the driving seat and responsible when it comes to their next pay day.
Employees are provided a sense of security. Freelancers are responsible for their security.
Employed work offers security – or at least appears to! The company someone works for could close down, be taken over, could need to let some people go…
The security of employed work is fine, and normally pretty reliable. Freelancers forego that (easily taken for granted) kind of income.
Freelancers build their own security, which, once their business is established and sustainable can in fact offer more security than an employed position, because the income is all up to them and they aren’t relying on others for peace of mind.
Employees work to a schedule. Freelancers create their own.
In this case, freelancers can use some working procedures from the employee world to good effect. Employed work has set hours, which is helpful in various ways, as I talk about here: Unplugging After Work when you Work at Home.
Freelancers need to discipline themselves to work to a schedule in order to maintain productivity. This, for a lot of freelancers can be easier said than done.
Employees can enjoy more social interaction. Freelancers usually work alone.
Freelancers can get lonely. Here at Aspect Avenue, we do try to address this to some extent with out private community, where freelancers can engage with each other online. But that can’t replace real world social engagement. Freelancers must find that kind of thing outside of normal working hours, or work at a local coworking space or maybe a coffee shop…
Employees dislike failure. Freelancers embrace it.
Employees not only dislike failure but can even fear it. They’d rather not fail at their jobs as it could lead to losing their position, judgement from colleagues, and so on.
Freelancers learn that they need to fail to make progress! Or rather, they don’t have failures, they have feedback, and learn from so-called failures on their way to success.
Subscribe to the Aspect Avenue weekly email for more freelancer support
An Empowering Companion on Your Freelancing or Solopreneur Journey!
Delivered every Wednesday, with freelancing tips, strategies, ideas, news, and more…