Sometimes I want a full time job at an ad agency or design firm, but then I remember how great it is to be a freelance designer. Here are the top ten reasons I love freelancing!
- I can work all day in my pajamas if I want. Unless I have an in-person client meeting.
- When I send out an invoice, all the money comes directly to me. Of course I have to save some for taxes, but my billable hours aren’t paying for anything but my work.
- I don’t report to a boss. Yeah, a client is sort of like your temporary boss, but really you’re more like equal partners in business with your clients.
- I can work on the projects I want to work on. If a client comes to me with a job I don’t want to do, I can pass. If I want some variety, I can go after video or photography work, I’m not limited by a job title.
- Netflix at lunch… Every day.
- Having clients depend directly on me for their design makes me feel like my work is important.
- I get to write off cool stuff like software, lenses, and computers as business expenses.
- I can work on side projects. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I can explore my own business ideas without running into non-compete agreements or getting in trouble for “neglecting” my main job.
- When I work with startups I get to help bring cool new business to life.
- Sometimes I get stock options in those startups as well. May not pay off for a while, but someday, taking partial payment in stock might be the best decision I ever made.
So whether you’re a young designer who can’t seem to find a full time job, or a seasoned pro who is tired of working for the man, freelancing is a great option.
And specifically for the young designers out there, don’t give up just because you’re not making a lot of progress, it takes time. The first year I freelanced–2012–I made maybe $1,000 in the course of the whole year! (That’s less than $100 per month for those of you who are mathematically challenged.) The second year I made 5 times that, and in 2014 I’m making enough to get by. I don’t know what next year holds, but I have no reason to doubt my workload will only continue to increase as it has for the past 3 years.