The Pros and Cons of Full-Time Job and Freelance Work

 

Full-time or part-time? Whichever route you decide to take, consider these factors

 

 

Thanks to the technology, the internet and more reliable mobile data plans, it’s become easier for both individuals and businesses to work remotely. Whether you’re a fresh graduate thinking of whether to go freelance or corporate, a freelancer considering going back to a full-time job, or a corporate employee looking to go independent, here's everything you need to consider before you make that all-important decision.

 

Full-Time Job vs. Freelance Work: The Pros and Cons

 

Full-Time Job

Freelance Work

Working Hours

40 hours per week

Weekdays, 9AM to 6PM (schedule varies per industry or company)

Work at your own pace. It can be as little as 10 hours or as long as 80 hours a week

Work Environment

Air-conditioned office

Desk, office supplies, computer, equipment, and tools are made available by the company

Work anywhere you want, as long as you have your laptop or device connected to the internet or a stable mobile data plan

Work-Life Balance

Vacation days are limited to VL allowance and holidays (that doesn't always fall on a weekday)

It can be hard to separate work and personal life so self-discipline needs to be developed

Financial Stability

Steady monthly income

Paid sick leaves and vacation leaves

13th month pay

No work, no pay

Benefits

Tax filing, SSS, Pag-Ibig and Philhealth are all accomplished by HR

Health benefits

Retirement benefit

Other special benefits depedning on the company you work for

You are responsible for filing your own taxes, SSS, Pag-Ibig, Philhealth and Personal Health Insurance

 

1. Working Hours

The traffic situation in the Philippines is getting worse by the day, making it increasingly difficult for full-time employees to come to work on time. Not all companies offer flexible working hours, which is a big consideration for many, especially millennials.

 

When you’re a full-time employee, you need to be at work from Mondays through Fridays from 9AM to 6PM. And because of the heavy traffic during rush hour, your travel time is doubled and sometimes tripled depending on where you live and where you work. Yet, you drag yourself from bed in the wee hours of the morning just to get to work on time—because it takes 2 to 3 hours to get to the office.

 

Meanwhile, freelancers have the luxury to choose their own routine or have none at all. Not to say they have it easier; being your own boss also means managing your own hours. More importantly, freelancers don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic, broken MRT, or everyday pollution.

 

2. Work Environment

Think about the ideal work environment for you. With a 9-to-6 job, you will be working in an air-conditioned office with all the necessary tools and equipment provided for you. Your colleagues are close by should you need someone to talk to or brainstorm with.

 

Freelance work on the other hand allows you to work anywhere you want to, be it in your very own bedroom or the living area of your home. If your budget permits, you can even put up your own office space in the comfort of your own home. For as long as you have a computer and the necessary tools you need, you can choose and shape your own environment.

 

3. Work-Life Balance

The line between our work and personal life has become blurred. Some may think that having a social life at work is enough for a work-life balance, while for some have the need to disconnect completely from work and just enjoy time away from the office.

 

Corporate gals and guys might think freelancers have it easy. After all, they’re free to go on vacation anytime they want. But when you don’t have regular working hours or a specific work location, it can also be difficult to draw the line between business and pleasure. Freelancers can be out of the country with friends or family, but will take a client call because again, no work no pay.

 

4. Financial Stability

Freelancers who have a good portfolio and the work experience can charge up to twice the price for a particular service because it's not a regular job. Think of it this way, they have to account for things they don't personally own or have, like tools or the extra manpower. Also, what makes it harder for freelancers are that clients can pull out or cancel anytime, and work contracts are often short-term. So if you’re someone who likes knowing that you have a paycheck you can rely on every two weeks, then freelancing might not be for you.

 

5. Benefits

Most large companies and organizations offer more than just the legally required benefits, like extendable health benefits, paid time off on top of your VLs and SLs, 16th month pay and more. 

 

With freelancing, you only get paid for the work rendered, albeit higher. You’re in charge of your own tax filing, getting your own personal health card, etc.

 

Bottom Line

Freelancing is not for the faint of heart. You always need to be on the lookout for potential jobs and you really need to put yourself out there, i.e., network. While it does give you the freedom to live the life you want, freelance work takes hard work, commitment and perseverance. It will not be easy in the beginning, but you just need to get your rhythm. 

 

So if you’re confident you can do freelance, go for it. Most freelancers will tell you anyway that they’ve never been happier.

 

However, if you want something safe, stable and secure, choose a full-time job that offers the best benefits. Just make sure to pick an accessible location or daily traffic will drive you nuts. Good luck!