Busting some myths about freelancing

Following hot on the heels of National Freelancers’ Day here in the UK, this week’s post aims to dispel a few common myths about freelancing and the freelance lifestyle…

Myth #1: Working from home is so easy

As anyone who works from home – whether working remotely for an employer or on a self-employed basis – will know, self motivation is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Staring at a blank screen is really demoralising and very frustrating. And we have plenty of distractions; they’re just different from ones in the office!

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Myth #2: Freelancing means shorter hours

Myths about freelancing quote 5One of the major attractions of being a freelancer is the freedom it provides in terms of working hours. But this doesn’t mean sleeping in, working for a couple of hours, then enjoying a leisurely lunch before running a few errands.

Yes, I admit it, I do do this on occasion, but – in order to catch up on my work – you’ll then find me chained to my computer until late at night or on the weekend. In short, freelancing means flexible working hours, not shorter ones.

Myth #3: Freelancers are miracle workers

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Most freelancers will try to bend over backwards to accommodate an urgent request from a client.

But we’re only human, after all, therefore it follows that we do our best work when we’re given realistic turnaround times. In fact, the more notice we get, the better!

Myth #4: All freelancers are equal

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Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. So, if you want a professional job doing, then you need to hire a professional and be prepared to pay professional rates. Basically, you can choose two of the following: cheap, fast, good. But you can’t have all three!

Which leads nicely to one of the biggest myths about freelancing…

Myth #5: Freelancers charge far too much

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Freelancing hourly rates may seem high in comparison to a salaried job, but you have to factor in income tax, National Insurance, lack of holiday or sick pay, plus the inevitable quiet patches.

The simple fact is that we freelancers only get paid when we work. No work means no income, yet we still have bills to pay – just like everyone else.

Over to you

If you’re a freelancer, which of these myths about freelancing can you relate to the most? Or any other misconceptions that you’d care to correct?

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4 comments on “Busting some myths about freelancing
  1. Agree! and to add:
    People only freelance when they can’t find a ‘proper’ job!
    Freelancers sleep in every morning
    Freelancers always charge more

    • Yup, those are all good additions & ones I’ve had to deal with over the years too.

      Re. the rates issue, people who are employed often don’t realise that freelancers only get paid when we’re working, i.e. doing chargeable work, but we spend a lot of time (or at least I do) on admin, marketing, dealing with enquiries, preparing quotes, chasing payment etc. Plus we have to allow for quiet spells, lack of sick pay/holiday pay & so on. When all that’s explained, our rates don’t seem so high after all!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Caroline Barry says:

    I can relate to all of the above!

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