If you've read the about me page and earlier posts on this blog, you'll know by now that I am an online freelancer. Mainly, my role in this Internet world is writing. Yep, I write about rice cookers, standing desks, foreign exchange, accounting software, Louis Vuitton bags, fashion, weight loss, diet pills, Android, and more.
All my jobs as of this time are from oDesk.
oDesk is platform for remote staffing for short-term and long-term work. It's the place where contractors and clients meet. However, as a freelancer, you're not obliged to call your clients "sir" or "ma'am". As a freelancer, you are treated as a professional who knows exactly what he or she is doing.
But so much for that. For those aspiring online freelancers, or those who want to earn extra, here are the pros and cons of online freelancing.
- You can work whenever and wherever you want. Yes, you can choose which time of the day to work and where. You can work at home or in a cafe. In fact, you can even choose not to work.
- You can choose which jobs you can work on. You actually have the power to choose which projects to work on. For example, in my case, if I don't think I'm able to work for this particular time, I turn down the job. There are also times, rare times, when I turn down a writing gig just because I don't like the topic. On the other hand, you can also choose to apply only on jobs that interest you.
- You are not a regular employee--you are a businessman in a sense. As a freelancer, you negotiate fees with your client. You don't treat him as a boss, because you are actually your own boss.
- You can negotiate fees with your client. You can ask for a price or fee that you think is the real value for your work. You'll never be stuck with the same fee. It's because as a freelancer you are just not paid for your work, you are actually being paid for the experience you've already acquired in the past.
- You work for clients around the world. This means that you have a larger market for your talent. Likewise, even if you're here in the Philippines, you can earn dollars.
- You have to be disciplined. Since you own your time, you have to 'budget' it wisely. For example, since I'm still studying, I have to stretch 24 hours in a day to do everything that needs to be done. Otherwise, I might fail my subjects or lose a valuable contract.
- There are some clients that are not easy to deal with--I know, because I've had one. You need to be patient. And even if the client seems to be crossing boundaries, you have to keep your calm and just end the contract. It's no use dealing with someone who cannot appreciate your talents and works.
- You have to bear with banking fees and payment periods. Since I'm working online and receiving money from the other end of the world, processing payments usually takes time and a lot of fees, particularly if you are withdrawing a good sum.
- You don't have benefits. If you're working traditionally, I mean in an office, you usually receive salary and benefits. However, if you're working online, you don't really receive them. In my opinion, this can be offset if you're like earning big already.
- There is no stable job. If you are looking for stability in freelancing, well, I can't guarantee you with it. But surely, if you prove yourself in your chosen field and seek for jobs, you'll always have clients.
In my point of view, these are the pros and cons of online freelancing. I've been working part-time in this industry for a year now and earning, let's say, a full-time salary (if I have enough writing gigs).