By Amy @BubbleJobs
If you’re looking for a new job, particularly in the digital sector, in a few weeks you’re probably going to be spoilt for choice as new recruitment budgets start to get allocated and job adverts start appearing here, there and everywhere (including Bubble of course!) – so right now, you’ve got a bit of time to figure out exactly what it is you want from your next position.
Now, while you’ll probably have already thought about things like location, job title and your next potential employer – there’s probably one thing you’ve not really considered – whether you should get a permanent position or go freelance.
It goes without saying that the thought of going freelance scares a lot of people. Why? Because it can seem pretty daunting and for many, that lack of something steady and concrete is just not appealing. That said; going freelance can provide you with some great experiences and opportunities that permanent roles just can’t offer, so it’s definitely worth considering.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of the top pros and cons that are associated with each to help you make your own mind up.
With a permanent job you have the security of knowing you’ll always be paid a set amount every month and you’ll also have some protection should anything happen to the company you’re working for eg. bankruptcy. This security means you’ll probably find it easier to get a loan or mortgage if you have a permanent job over a freelance role.
Work On Long-Term Projects:
Depending on the nature of the role, 9 times out of 10, with a permanent role you’ll end up working with a few clients (or just one if you work in-house) over a long term basis which means you can create some really strong, long-lasting relationships which could benefit you later in your career.
With a permanent job, things like tax, National Insurance and even a pension are all taken care of for you so you don’t need to worry about them.
In addition to having the majority of your admin taken care of, you’ll also probably work in an office environment so you won’t have to worry about anything like rent or utility bills.
If you take on a permanent job, you’ll probably end up working within in a team so you’ll never be lonely and always have someone to talk to.
Work With A Limited Number Of Clients:
While you might get to develop long-lasting relationships with clients, with permanent positions you’ll probably be working with a limited amount of clients which means you may only have a few names to add to your CV at the end of it.
Get A Limited Number Of Holiday Days:
With permanent positions, it goes without saying that things are pretty rigid, particularly when it comes to holiday days. If you love jetting off all over the world at a moment’s notice, a permanent role might not be the right fit for you.
Rigid Working Week
As with the last point, with a permanent role you’ll probably have to work a set number of hours every week between two set times every day.
99% of permanent roles involve some kind of daily commute so that’s definitely something to consider… particularly when it comes to winter and public transport isn’t always 100% reliable.
Can Take On As Much/Little Work As Suits:
With a freelance role, you’ve got much more control over your workload – this means you can generally take on as much or as little work as you need to each week or month to pay the bills.
Can Work From Home:
Depending on the role, you could have the option of working from home – and you know what that means… yep, lunch time telly and working in your PJs!
Flexible Working Week:
If you take on a freelance role, you’ll probably end up with more of a flexible week, particularly if you get to work from home – because you usually get to choose what times and on what days you work.
Can Work With A Large Variety Of Clients:
With freelance roles, you usually tend to take on shorter term contracts which means you could end up working with lots of different clients in a short space of time – and a long list of clients on your CV is never going to be a bad thing!
Can Earn More:
Depending on the role and your expertise, if you choose to go freelance, you could end up demanding a higher salary for each contract and earning much more at the end of the year than you might if you took on a permanent position.
No Solid, Regular Income:
One of the downsides of freelance roles is there’s that definite lack of security and regular income that comes with a permanent job. While this might not be too much of an issue if you live on your own and have no one to take care of, it could cause real problems if you have a family and need to keep a roof over their heads every day. Similarly, while you don’t have to book holiday days, you won’t be paid when you take one – and you won’t be paid if you have to take a sick day.
More Overheads If Working From Home:
OK, so while working from home can mean working from your sofa, it can also mean higher utility bills as you’re responsible for covering the gas and electricity you use while working.
If you’re a freelancer, you’re classed as self-employed so it’s up to you to sort out things like your tax returns and National Insurance contributions and it’s up to you to chase your invoices and make you get paid!
Can Be Lonely:
If you do end up working from home, you’ll probably have to work on your own a lot and you’ll definitely miss out on the team and office environment that a permanent position can offer.
Obviously, there are lots more pros and cons attached to both employment options and it goes without saying that the right one for you will depend on your industry, your expertise and your individual circumstances – but hopefully this blog should give you some idea of the benefits and pitfalls of each.
Starting to lean towards a freelance position? Check out Lauren’s blog on becoming a digital freelancer.