Full Time Employee vs Other Ways To Earn

dscross

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
1,264
8
43
Country
United Kingdom
This year, I was forced to take a hiatus from full time work owing to some health problems (I worked as communications and content specialist in Marketing). As a substitute, I've recently started freelancing, which is great for the time being, and it pays alright. But it's got me thinking, would it be better to earn less and maybe work part time and do some freelancing on the side?

I mean, is 9-5 really that great, even if you quite liked your job? Do you need to earn a big wage or is it better to take a pay hit - I have no family to support at the moment and i could live on it...

Dunno, just thinking out loud here. I've been getting the feeling lately that like many people get caught up in the rat race and forget there are other ways to exist. And by the time you have some skills which you could use to freelance or go part time, you've already got a family or other assets you need to fund so you don't make any changes.

Does anyone have thoughts on this? Has anyone tried freelancing, part time work, or started their own business and thinks it was the best decision they ever made (or the worst). Would love some insight.
 

Baffle

Elite Member
Apr 6, 2020
1,932
829
118
It depends on what you do, but in a lot of roles even as a freelancer you're expected to do something pretty close to a 9-5 because that's what your clients are doing (for the purposes of communication I mean). It's very role dependent though.

I freelance (well, I'm a company, but it amounts to the same thing), but I do a normal working week (often more) because I have bills to pay (no family, but a mortgage). I could definitely get by working fewer hours (and I'd like to), but I also don't want to work forever - and if you only work enough to get by, that's what you'll have to do because you need to fund being old (though it's absolutely worth bearing in mind that some people never get the chance to get old, they pop-off the mortal coil unexpectedly, and unless you've got someone meaningful to leave it to, your assets and youth are effectively wasted). For me the driver is getting rid of my mortgage, because I hate having to have one.

Going freelance was great for me. I instantly had about half again as much income, I don't have to travel to work (which saves me time and a few grand a year [I live by a toll road]), I can take a day off pretty much whenever I want, and I don't have to spend much time around people (I find that tiring).

Downsides: no sick pay (I rarely get ill enough to not work); no paid holiday, and actually taking off more than a few days in a row is a scheduling nightmare as there's no one to cover; you're on your own unless you want to hire outside help (e.g. I do all my own tech and taxes, etc., though mine are pretty simple); stress about getting enough work to pay the bills (probably the biggest problem as a freelancer, and you're only ever as good as your last job, so no fuck-ups allowed).

All that said, I'm thinking of getting back in the normal workplace - contributory pension ahoy!
 

Chewster

It's yer man Chewy here!
Apr 24, 2008
1,050
0
0
I was under the impression that most companies these days want people to freelance so they can screw them out of health insurance and pension options. I guess if you are good at saving or investing your excess money, freelancing/part time can be all right.

Seems like a good system while you are relatively young by my folks drilled it into my head that it was always better to go with a gig that has lesser pay but decent benefits which most PT jobs don't offer. Also unfortunate, I can't save for shit so working a job where they force me to pay into a pension and where my severance piles up is better for me. Sure, I have the 8 - 4 in the office but I'm salaried which gives me a lot more flexibility anyway.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
3,714
596
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Being an employee sucks. Working to make other people money is the pits.

Oh well, at least I don't have to worry about running a business or dealing with customers or anything like that.
 

jademunky

New member
Mar 6, 2012
973
0
0
Just a couple good things about full-time: the benefits (80% of dental, without that, fuck I would not have teeth), the seniority (I have 4 weeks of vacation time, which I will probably just spend picking out some "handyman" project at home or whatever to do because I don't really like to travel).
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

Queen of the Edit
Feb 4, 2009
3,647
0
0
Not having to work to earn a living is definitely a goal all people should have. There is few things that give peace of mind like knowing you will always have an income stream. I think maybe open your up your own market analysis and marketing firm.

You won't get anymore freetime, hell you'll ptobably lose freetime... but the idea your job will always be there and you're getting everything you deserve and more thsn a few tax offsetting capacity and the chance to quicker fund your retirement. Let's face it, in Trump's America you're going to end up looking after your own skin. Would you rather be thr one receiving s cheque, or writing them? On top of the tax offsetting capacities of owning a business, in your industry you don't really even need an expensive office space.

All the shenanigans you can get up to claiming something is a business expense...
 

Kyrian007

Officially no longer the Enemy of the People
Legacy
Apr 6, 2020
2,143
165
68
Kansas
Country
U.S.A.
Gender
Male
In my state several years ago our Governor enacted several sweeping changes in the tax code. Eliminating corporate taxes entirely. Now (5 years later) our state is broke, facing huge budget deficits, suffering from multiple credit rating downgrades, and basically scrambling to undo the disastrous "voodoo economics" tax cuts that destroyed the local economy. Basically, as soon as the tax cuts were in place... everyone that could went freelance registering as an LLC or LLP to eliminate the taxes they owed to the state.

Now the federal government has enacted very similar feeling huge tax cuts for corporations. Maybe now would be a good time to get out and into freelance work. You have a few years to enjoy the cuts before the economy tanks.
 

Kiall

New member
Dec 20, 2020
21
0
0
Country
United Kingdom
In some respects, I think where you live makes a big difference. For example, I have a friend who is a freelance journalist in London, UK. He's a pretty successful guy, writes for a couple of national newspapers, edits non-fiction books, produces content for FTSE 100 companies etc. Yet due to living in a super expensive city all it would take is a few months without a gig and he'd be in serious financial trouble i.e. makes enough to get by but not enough to really save anything. I live in Nottingham, UK and am much less successful (we do similar work but my client are minnows), but due to my city being way cheaper I'm actually on par with him financially. I have another friend who is a freelance web developer in Spain, but works with US/UK companies and she's rolling in it without even having to work that hard.

Anyways on a more general note pretty much everything Baffle said. Due to clients you are still forced into a schedule (10am - 6pm in my case) and while having a day off is relatively easy I rarely have full days off (I'm usually always reachable by phone or email). Holidays are kind of a ***** too. You don't get paid for them which is the biggest bummer and rather than telling one boss I'm taking time off at my busiest I may have to tell a dozen or so people some of whom will not be happy unless you get them content to make up for when you're not available. If that's not enough go away too long and you may not have that gig to go back too. Same goes for sickness, but luckily being something of a hermit and having a robust immune system I've never been ill long enough for it to be an issue.

All that said I love being a freelancer! I may have fixed times, but due to my office being footsteps from my bedroom I haven't used an alarm clock in about a decade. I've spent 20 minutes writing this up because I don't have to worry about a boss spotting me goofing off. Sometime this week I'll probably take my girlfriend on a mid-day date because I've got that flexibility. The money (if you've got the skills and experience in your required field - starting out freelance rates for a writer is pretty much slavery) is decent if you can finish jobs quickly and to a good standard. Also it gives me freedom to choose jobs that actually interest me. I/you'll probably need to take some gigs purely for the money, but you'll also be able to pitch for things that genuinely excite you.

So for me, yeah I'd say going freelance was one of the better moves I made. I'd probably be financially better off if I worked in-house but I'm certainly happier this way.
 

bjj hero

New member
Feb 4, 2009
3,180
0
0
There is a lot to be said for being an employee...

I get 33 days paid leave plus 10 national holidays.
6 months full sick pay then 6 on half pay.
Fixxed hours, unless I want to do over time.
PAYE so I dont have to do my own tax returns.
Employee pension which is really good.
Assistance with eye care, free flu jabs, all that little stuff you forget about.