Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Patrick Austin, freelance writer.
A myth remains a myth until it gets debunked. When it comes to the myths and misconceptions regarding freelancing, we ask ourselves why do the myths linger, and why are we not able to dispel these misconceptions? That’s because for most people it’s easier to believe myths such as freelancing isn’t a real job, freelancers have a hard time getting projects, that clients don’t pay well, so on and so forth.
But it’s likely that they are hardly trying to find out how valid is these statements are and haven’t tried to get the real picture. After all there are 53 million freelancers working in the US, followed by India with 12 million freelancers and Europe with a count of 9 million self-employed individuals. According to the Global Contingent Workforce Study made by Ernst & Young, about 20% of companies all over the world with over a thousand employees have a workforce comprised of 30% or more freelancers.
It seems that freelancing isn’t as lackluster as the myths would lead us to believe, here are a few myths that it is important to debunk:
Myth 1 – Freelancers Struggle to Get Projects
While this is undoubtedly one of the most common misconceptions related to freelancing, the reality is quite different. Plenty of those starting out in freelancing tend to over-book their calendars by picking up work from multiple sources. Data from Upwork.com shows that only on their platform there are 9.7 million freelancers operating from more than 180 countries and work worth more than $940 million conducted on an annual basis. That’s not to say that some don’t have a difficult time securing projects, but with this much volume, there’s plenty of work to be found in freelancing.
Myth 2 – Freelancing Isn’t a Full-Time Job
According to research, 54% of the freelancers are satisfied with freelancing and are not looking to go back to full-time employment. While it is true that in the official capacity, freelancing or being self-employed isn’t a 9 to 5, that’s not to say that a freelancer isn’t as productive as a full-time employee. ONS found that there was a 19% increase in self-employment when comparing the first quarter of 2009 to that of 2014, making for about 720,000 self-employed individuals in the UK. This increase was the 3rd highest in the European Union, with Slovenia coming 1st with 23% and Estonia in 2nd place with 20%.
Myth 3- Receiving Payment as a Freelancer Is a Huge Hassle
This is yet another misconception which has affected how freelancing is viewed, and might even deter away some from making the leap to being self-employed. But the truth is that there are plenty of easy ways to receive payment, especially with freelancing marketplaces who take care of the heavy lifting for those starting out. If a freelancer chooses to bill clients independently there are plenty of tools that aid in invoice building and there are even invoicing software services like SageOne. So invoicing and receiving payments is as easy as can be with the help of the internet, freeing up freelancer’s time to work on new projects.
Myth 4 – Kickstarting a Freelancing Career Isn’t Easy
Parents might feel somewhat confused or anxious to see their children opting for a career as a freelancer. Some of them are sure to believe starting a career in freelancing is a difficult task with lots of uncertainty to haunt every now and then. But concern should be a thing of the past when data shows that in 2017 3.2 million full-time self-employed individuals made $3.2 million. There are also plenty of freelancer platforms to get ones freelancing career started in such as freelancer.com, Upwork, peopleperhour, and Fiverr.
Thus, to conclude it is to be mentioned that being a freelancer isn’t a child’s play; rather it’s a serious business. With changing times and advancements happening in the global job market, killing stereotypes, dispelling all misconceptions and moving ahead with a positive approach is the kind of energy and vibe we all need in order to make self-employment a reverential phenomenon.