Why freelancing isn’t for everyone (and that’s okay)

Freelancing in any field can be an attractive option for many people, offering flexibility and the ability to be your own boss. However, it’s not for everyone and that’s totally okay! I’m unsure why, but these past years it feels like society has glamourized being your own boss and not working for anyone, sometimes to a point where we’re shaming being who have a “normal” 9-5 job (whatever that even means).

I always try to play both sides on this blog, so today we’re diving into reasons why freelancing isn’t for everyone:

1. Lack of Job Security

One of the biggest downsides of freelancing is the lack of job security. Freelancers must constantly (and when I say “constantly” I mean CONSTANTLY) search for new clients, jobs and projects in order to maintain a steady income. This can lead to financial instability and a f*ck ton of stress.

(Maybe you’ll like “Freelancing – 16 things I wish I knew before I started!”

2. Lack of Benefits

Freelancers typically do not receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. This can be a major drawback for individuals who rely on these benefits.

Not having paid time off can for sure lead to burn out, exhaustion and honestly also a lot of injuries for dancers, since your body essentially is your paycheck. I often envy the NBA, NFL and NHL guys who go and have their off season in Newport beach – must be nice to have a few months off a year.

3. Difficulty with Self-Motivation

Freelancers must be self-motivated and disciplined in order to stay on track with deadlines and complete work in a timely manner. For individuals who struggle with self-motivation, freelancing may not be the best option.

This is one of the thousand reasons why community is so insanely important for dancers. Going to the studio and being around people, training with friends and being around people who inspire and push you is essential for motivation. Goal setting is also huge for a freelance artist to create structure.

4. Need for Strong Business Skills

Freelancers must have strong business skills in order to manage their own finances, marketing, and building relationships. This can be a challenge for people who are not comfortable with these aspects of running a business.

I personally don’t think the goal is to become an extrovert or to be the loudest person in the room. I’ve met lots of introverts expressing how they can’t succeed in entertainment because they aren’t born a Leo (I never thought I would refer to a zodiac sign, it’s cringe and very LA, I’m sorry). They would rather jump out of a moving vehicle on the 101 than being the center of attention: “Everyone is a narcissist”, “Everyone just wants something from you”, “I don’t wan’t to be salesy”. I think that’s a huge misconception, I think there’s a space for everyone in entertainment and there are a LOT of really solid, great people out here who you can build really solid, great relationship with by simply being yourself.

But learning social skills, branding yourself and building relationships is crucial in any field.

5. Isolation

No, not like “quarantine and covid-isolation”, we’re leaving that one behind together with your exes and Donald Trump. Freelancers often work alone and may experience feelings of isolation or loneliness. This can be especially difficult for individuals who thrive in a social or collaborative work environment.

Therefore it’s essential to find that community either through work (for dancers that’s being consistent at the studios and in classes and staying afterwards to connect) or it could be finding community outside of your work. Joining a running club, book club, a sports team once a week, a gym class etc. could do the job.

(Read: “Homesick? 8 tips when feeling down” here!)

In conclusion, freelancing can be a great option for some individuals, but it’s not for everyone and that’s okay! The lack of job security and benefits, difficulty with self-motivation, need for strong business skills and isolation are all potential drawbacks of freelancing. Before deciding to pursue freelancing, it’s important to consider these factors and determine if it’s the right fit for you and your career goals.

BUT with that being said – the only way to find out if it’s for you is to simply try. Action over overthinking any day. (Read “overthinking – easy steps to get out of your head!” right here!)

For me it’s the right thing and I love it to pieces. Ever heard “your best trait is also your worst trait”? The same applies here. The personal and professional growth you’ll experience through freelancing is incomparable.


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