Freelancing or a Regular Job: Which makes you happier?

The full time job here, refers of course, to the classic 9-5 job, or 8-4; if that’s how you work. It’s no news that in the knowledge economy in which we live, there are several multitalented individuals.

The beauty is that not only is there an upsurge in the number of these multitalented individuals, but there is a significant increase in the number of those who are willing to put in the work to get their desired career fulfillment.

We are the “millenials” and when we were born up till when we came into the career market, it was drummed into our ears that ‘there were no jobs’. As a result, we have been programmed to take risks.
A recent Millennial Branding report found 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. This may be because we were wired to understand that there was no job security and we just had to get creative to earn a living.

This reminds me of Neymar’s pay of over $550,000 dollars per week- way more than most people would earn in a lifetime. Thus, we now know that the classic career paths which were encouraged in the past are taking the back seat, progressively.

Our generation has bred raw talents, and this means that this is exactly what we’ll reap. The internet sensation makes it easy to share everyone’s gifts with the world, no doubt about that. No wonder many choose to freelance with their abilities- there are freelance social marketers, graphic designers, writers, website creators and name it, almost everyone freelances.
With that established, the bone of contention seems to be with what brings more fulfillments, and overall, which one an individual with the necessary skill sets would choose: the regular 9-5 job, or a freelance career. There are pros and cons to each of these choices, as you would expect.

While the freelancer can probably work all day in his or her pajamas, sipping some hot coffee and changing baby diapers all within a time frame of 1-2 hours, I don’t need to reiterate that it would be laughable to suggest this to someone with a 9-5 job. The immense flexibility which freelancing provides makes it a sweet option for the millennial who wants to run his or her own life, alongside a business.

When you think about it, this is likely to eliminate the problem of a mother who wants to be at home when her kids get back from school, with lunch on the table. Granted, this may not happen all of the time, but that is one of the perks which freelancing can offer. Flexibility of work hours. A lot of people are happy with that, and this might make freelancing the ‘go-to’ job for such.

Happiness, according to 72% of students, is measured by one’s impact within the work environment. The 9-5 job is not exactly the most impactful kind of job, if we would be honest. Often, work is rote and boring and in the wake of unemployment, many are willing to start with any kind of work they can find. Since one of the classic advantages of freelancing is that you can provide work using your skill sets, there is a better chance of making impact when freelancing as a career is considered.

Yet, we cannot uproot the lack of job security associated with freelancing. Any new freelancer would tell you of how much sweat they had to put into getting that first writing, designing, or social media management contract. The struggle is real for beginning freelancers- and for those who would rather have a job where payment comes in once a month and twelve times in a year, freelancing, at first, might not seem so attractive- except of course, they lose their job and they’re back to square one!

Some have found a way to combine freelancing with their regular jobs, at least for the first 2-3 years of freelancing, so as to create a wide client base and eliminate significantly, the risk of not being sure of where the next meal would come from, which is pretty much an important consideration.

All that being said, it is only one who has tasted both sides of freelancing and a regular job that can truly talk about if the hassles associated with freelancing is truly better than having to log in 8 hours at an office and get paid at the end of the month. May I chip in that the unproductive time spent in traffic (e.g. Lagos Traffic) can be spent judiciously by a freelancer on at least one article or one design? I probably think freelancing makes you happier, but then, I’m a freelancer- you should expect that.

Would love to hear from those who have tasted both sides, which do you find to be more fulfilling?


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