To be, or not to be: Freelancer Dilemmas and Fixes

The journey of a freelancer is quite similar to a roller coaster ride. There are many advantages of freelancing: flexibility, independence, personalized schedule, to name a few. However, there are several pitfalls faced by a freelancer too. They face challenges in their day to day work. Life is not a bed of roses for them and they are surrounded by a lot of dilemmas. They can range from time management to payment related concerns. When there are troubles, there has to be solutions too. The freelancers should be prepared to face all such dilemmas and should also formulate suitable fixes to handle them smartly.

Dilemmas of Freelancers

The freelancers face a lot of dilemmas when they start working on projects.  Let us look at the top issues-

Payment issues

One of the most common issues faced by the freelancers is the issue of payment. The payment of the freelance projects is based on per project basis, which exposes the freelancers to unscrupulous persons. The freelancers are not sure whether they will receive the payment after the work completion. There are times when there is mismatch between the actual payment received and the original payment agreed upon.

Diminishing line between personal and professional life

The freelancers often tend to forget about his personal interests once he starts his freelance career. The freelancers usually stretch their normal working hours, which ultimately affects their personal lives. The -freelancers are unable to cultivate any hobbies or personal interests due to the prolonged working hours of the freelancer.

Managing different time zones

The freelancers are expected to work with a wide variety of clients and they need to work with persons belonging to different time zones. The freelancers receive projects from multiple countries, which are based on their skills and expertise. The freelancers are often unable to adjust to the particular time zone of the clients and hence unable to deliver the assigned tasks.

No employee benefits

There are several benefits of the 9-to-5 job like paid vacation, paid leaves, fixed compensation and additional perks. However, a freelancer is not entitled to these facilities. The compensation structure is not fixed and it depends on the volume of work available. The freelancers are also not entitled to receive any health benefits. In the event of the freelancer falling ill, the entire burden of the medical treatment rests on the freelancer.

Lack of motivation

It is the nature of the work that makes the freelancers frustrated and they start losing their interest on the subject. There are lean seasons where there is not sufficient work. There are also emotional disturbances like loneliness, stress, inferiority complex and the like. All these factors cause an emotional turbulence, which reduces the motivational levels of the freelancers. They may be motivated at times, but in the next moment, their motivation comes at zero level. It can be concluded that it is difficult to maintain the continuous motivation degrees.  

Not so steady workload

The work pattern of freelancing is characterized by inconsistent work structures. This implies that at times there can be lot of work pressures and sometimes there can be no work at all. The profit, projects and clients changes with time and are not so stable. As compared to traditional jobs, this kind of work is unstable in nature.

Ethical concerns

The freelancers often face ethical dilemmas in their day to day operations. They are unsure about whether the concerned company offers questionable products or the failure of the project is certain. There are concerns regarding whether to accept assignments from direct competitors and the proper use of the information gathered. Sometimes, there is badmouthing of the fellow freelancers, which is a completely unethical act.

Possible fixes

“Every problem comes with a handful of solutions”. The freelancers may face several dilemmas but there are number of quick fixes that can be adopted-

Flexible Pay

The payment of the freelancers should be designed in such a manner that there is minimal number of loopholes. Instead of releasing the payment after the completion of the entire task, the payment can be cleared after the completion of individual units. A big task can be divided into smaller chunks. If partial payments are done after the completion of individual tasks, the freelancers are assured of the payments aspects of the project.

Optimum work-life balance

The freelancers should strive to maintain optimum balance between their professional lives and personal lives. The job profile of a freelancer is varied- it ranges from searching for prospective business to the management of the finances. However, they should complete the designated work within the stipulated work.

Proper time management

The freelancer should be able to distribute their time between the various time zones of the clients. They should work as per the time zone of the clients, which derives the maximum customer satisfaction.

Promote ethical behaviors

The freelancers should strive to engage in ethical behaviors in their professional endeavors. The project work from the trusted clients should be accepted and adequate background verification of the clients should be performed. Positive word mouth should be spread instead of negative word of mouth.

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