The reasons to go freelance are indisputable. It’s technologically possible, much better for your health and bank balance, not to mention it makes a hell of a lot more sense than working like crazy until you’re too old and sad to kick back and enjoy life.
But laying out the facts and rationale for freelancing isn’t always enough to urge us into packing up our desk and actually doing it. And anyway, if freelancing was so great, wouldn’t everyone already be doing it by now?
The thing is, although technological change has come thick and fast over recent years, it can take us squishy humans a little while longer to catch up with it.
And so no matter what the stats, trends, and your logic-speaking head says, there can still be many barriers — work policies, cultural norms, comfort, fear, habit — that hold us back.
Rather than mulling it over again and again and putting it off for just a few more weeks or months, it helps, then, to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. When you do this, you get a clearer idea of not just the wider societal movement, but also get more in touch with your real motivations for going freelance in the first place. Ultimately, so you can make the best possible decision for your career when the time is right, instead of waiting around until it’s too late and someone else makes it for you.
Your company doesn’t care about you
Why stay in a full-time office job when the company you work for, even though it itself may not realise it yet, will soon be throwing you out in place of a freelancer?
If it wants to remain profitable and competitive, sooner or later it will need to follow the suit and start investing heaps of cash in new product/service development, training, and innovation. When the vast majority of their jobs can be done anywhere rather than under one roof, or even in one country, that means no more ploughing money into vast premises and huge office buildings.
Not only will this be essential for businesses to stay agile in the fast-paced mobile world, but it will also save them tonnes of money and result in much greater outcomes from staff.
Second, if it wants to keep attracting top talent, it will need to go from pushing traditional employee perks like a nice corner office and a company car to providing what millennials and younger generations want — things like parental leave, gym memberships, and remote working agreements. If employees can’t get such perks from a company, they’ll leave to work freelance or to go get them elsewhere.
You no longer need to sell your time
As mentioned above, the idea of success to many people today is much different to what it used to be.
Ever since the industrial revolution, work has become a transaction that involves selling our time to buy security and comfort for us and our families. Now security is not so urgent as it used to be, and most of us have seen through the false pursuit of material goods and big bank balances, we have the choice and freedom to do with our time what we please.
Couple this with the fact we now have the technology that allows us to sell our time from wherever and whenever we want, and instead of being in the control of companies, the most valuable currency of all is well and truly in our hands.
As a limited resource that each of us only has so much of, people are realising that maybe selling it isn’t such a good deal after all. And that, whether it’s through spending more of it at home, using it to visit exotic countries, or working day and night for two days to have a week off, freelancing is one of the best ways they can get the most value out of it possible.
Get your freelance career started today with your new work from home routine.
Joseph Pennington is a freelance writer and long-term traveller from the North of England. Connect with him on LinkedIn and find more articles on work, technology, spirituality, and everything in between.