Pros & cons of freelancing: A variety of work from many clients

Freelancing by definition means balancing the needs of various employers who each have their own priorities. Whether you work for two or twenty clients in a given week, your time will be spent managing a cascade of tasks, projects, and deadlines as you work to keep multiple customers satisfied.

Like many aspects of freelancing — such as being your own boss, managing your own time, and having unlimited earning potential — this variability has its upsides and its downsides.

Pro: A variety of work from many clients

Having a range of projects from many employers is one of the best things about freelancing.

No day or week is the same as the last, and you can constantly learn new things and face new challenges. Satisfying current clients keeps you on your toes, and starting to work with new clients infuses fresh energy when things feel stale.

This arrangement is also a form of job security; if you lose one client, you just have to find another to replace that fraction of your income. That’s a much more approachable prospect than finding a new full-time job to replace all of your income after you’re laid off.

Con: A variety of work from many clients

The downside of the having a variety of work from many clients is that successfully serving them all can be head-spinningly complicated. While handling multitudinous priorities can prevent boredom, it can also be a stressful juggling act that leaves you feeling like you can never let your guard down.

Another downside is the inherent insecurity of freelancing as a career. While working for several employers can provide income security as described earlier in this post, that is only the case after you’ve built up enough of a network and a solid enough career to be able to compete quickly and successfully for new clients when the need arises.

Prior to that point, losing a client can be a blow to your income from which it’s difficult to recover quickly.

Most freelance relationships can be terminated immediately with no reason given. Freelance clients come and go, sometimes in rapid succession, which requires you to constantly be proactively looking for new ones even when your work is going well.

Over time you can get used to that dynamic and become adept at maintaining a new-client pipeline, but the fact that any of your clients — and the income they provide — can disappear like a puff of smoke is one of the major drawbacks of freelance life.

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