By Ashley Preen

September 16, 2015

Does everybody think freelancing isn’t a real job?

Freelancing isn’t as easy as many people think. A lot of those people, almost always in full-time employment doing a job they hate, imagine that you are just sitting around in your living room wearing pyjamas and watching Jeremy Kyle. They don’t realise that freelancing is usually a full-time job, with hours often exceeding those of a normal job.

What’s worse when you’re a freelancer, is when it’s friends and family who think these things about your freelancing career.

The article was written to give you some ammunition to defend yourself when they’re on your case.

Here’s why freelancing isn’t as easy as many think:

Salary stress

Isn’t it nice to know you can do a mediocre job one month and still get paid for doing it?

It’s not a luxury many freelancers are familiar with. If they aren’t consistently doing a great job, you won’t get very many clients, so you’ll make less money.

And that’s if you’re even getting work. The freelancing life is all about feast of famine. A freelancer could get loads of work one month, and the next, nothing, in which case they need to live off of savings.

And even when you do get work, there’s no guarantee you’ll get paid any time soon, with payment often being received at least a month after you complete a job.

Say goodbye to paid holidays

To put it simply, as a freelancer if you don’t work you don’t get paid.

That means if you’re really desperate for your yearly holiday, you’ll need to make sure you’ve saved up not only for the holiday itself, but money to cover the lack of work over the holiday so you’re still able to pay your bills.

And then there are the emails and phone calls from clients to deal with, which always seem to increase in frequency as soon as the holiday starts.

It’s not entirely true that a freelancer is his/her own boss

Any freelancer who becomes self-employed because they want to be their own boss soon finds out that it’s not entirely true.

Sure, freelancers usually choose where they work, and which hours, but they still have to keep their clients happy, and often multiple clients at once.

You think freelancers get to choose all the fun jobs?

People don’t hire freelancers to do all the fun and easy work – that just do the work themselves if that was the case.

Most freelancers don’t have to freedom to turn down any work they think will be boring. Many, especially in the early days of their career, have to take on lots of boring work just to pay the bills.

Freelancers are a one-man-band

Freelancers don’t get to just do one job, and then go home. They’re running a business single-handedly. That means they have to do everything a business has to do, from that actual job they do as a freelancer, to all the really boring stuff such as administration, keeping their portfolio up-to-date, sending invoiced to clients, chasing clients for late payments, etc.

It’s bad enough not having colleagues beside you doing all these jobs, but spending so much time on their own can also be very lonely for freelancers.