Millions of Americans sitting in cubicles have fantasized about quitting their jobs and being their own boss. When you work for yourself, as a freelancer or contractor, you have a lot of freedom. However, with this freedom comes a lot of freelance stress.
Freelancers are part of a large number of non-traditional workers known as contingent workers. “Contingent workers” can be defined as individuals who are employed in alternative work arrangements, including agency temps, on-call and part-time workers, and self-employed workers. These types of contingent workers make up 40.4 percent of the American workforce, and there are certain benefits that can come from this type of employment.
The Pros and Cons of Freelancing
Freelancers get to enjoy flexibility in their hours and working location. They can also use their discretion when choosing jobs and keep all of the profits of their hard work. But as with every job, there are some downsides.
While freelancers don’t have to answer to bosses, they are dependent on their customers or clients and many freelancers say they have trouble getting the payment that they are due. This, of course, means that income for freelancers can be unstable and inconsistent, even if freelancers do have a regular roster of clients. Working for yourself also means that you are taking on a lot of risks. There are no employer benefits, such as paid vacation time, sick days, or company retirement plans. These benefits work as safety nets for many traditional employees, and not having them can be particularly stressful for freelancers. And this, unfortunately, is just the beginning.
Freelancers and contingent workers also experience stress-related health problems. For freelancers, there is often very little separation between personal and work life, so they may constantly feel like they are on the clock. This can lead to job burnout. Freelance work is often socially isolating, so it’s not uncommon for freelancers to experience depression.
Are you a freelancer, contractor, or another type of contingent worker? Are you experiencing stress or stress-related health problems? Check back next week for Mindful stress tips. These tips can help you relax and take care of your physical and mental health.