If you think people are stuck in their beds due to the pandemic, think again. The pandemic may be a difficult time, but some took it as an opportunity to earn. With some companies laying off their employees, many Americans have shifted to freelancing. And the good news is they are earning big.
The survey shows a 22% increase in the annual earnings of 59 million American freelancers. These freelancers make up 36% of the U.S. workforce. Their combined total annual revenues? It is a staggering $1.2 trillion.
Not only are they going full-time, but they are also earning more money than when they were doing a traditional job. More millennials ages 18 to 22 have also started freelancing due to the pandemic.
What could be the possible reasons for this upward shift? Here’s why people prefer freelancing during this pandemic:
The pandemic scare is real, and more people would want to find a job where they don’t have to leave their homes. Not all jobs offer remote work, and some still have to go to their workplace. This forces others to find freelance jobs where they do not have to leave their homes but still earn as much. Communication platforms like Zoom and Slack make remote work convenient for freelancers, too.
Freelancing jobs have more flexible tasks and hours. In other freelance offers, workers can even choose to accept or refuse projects. They can take more tasks and earn more money if they want to. If they don’t feel like working, they can opt not to, without fearing that they will lose their job tomorrow. This is important for parents who have to tend to their kids who do online learning. They get to divide their time between work, household chores, and their kids.
Since workloads are more flexible, they are not tied to contracts. Because they work at their own pace, they get to accept more work. They can operate their businesses. These allow them to earn more money.
Freelancers don’t have to wake up early to catch the bus because they don’t commute. They are not tied up to a 9-to-5 job, so they get to do other things aside from work. The money they would have to spend on their commute is now part of the money that they can save. They don’t have to eat lunch at the office canteen because they can cook at home. They can rest when they feel drained and continue when they feel better. No boss is going to check on them every single time.
Yet, freelancing also has its disadvantages when it comes to the business side of the job:
There are days when freelance work is overflowing, and there are days when it’s not. Income is not guaranteed, and there is no job tenure. The availability of freelance work also depends on the economic situation. Some companies pull out some of their remote work requirements. If the companies you work for also struggle, work will be inconsistent.
Health insurance, social security, and other benefits are usually paid in halves by the employer and the employee. Freelancers don’t have an employer to co-pay it with. They have to diligently and voluntarily pay it on their own.
Taxes Can Be Mind-boggling
It is usually the employer who manages how their workers pay their taxes. But, freelancers are self-employed and will thus, have different computations and requirements. This requires freelancers to study how they can pay their taxes diligently to avoid liability.
Nevertheless, all these disadvantages should not stop you from trying freelance jobs. Many freelancers were also beginners. They only learned about freelancing when they enrolled in programs offered by websites like micalaquinn.com. Freelancing kits from these websites will teach you how to launch your business. They will also guide you on how to reach out to your clients online and monetize your skills. They offer step-by-step strategies on how to make freelancing work for you.
This might be the perfect timing to go freelancing. But before you do that, assess first if your budget and your expenses will thrive in the freelance setup. Check what matters to you at the moment. Will a stable 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job work for you but keeps you away from your family? Or will a freelance job that keeps you at home safe sound better? Your choice will depend on your needs. At the end of the day, what works for you will always be your best option.