A topic, or rather question, which has undergone much scrutiny recently: what’s the difference between a full-time job and freelancing? Is one better than the other? There are varying opinions on this matter, and below, we aim to provide some clarity and insight on each so that you may make a more informed decision if you are considering either option.
A full-time job is when a person is recruited by an organization and works a minimum number of hours per day as defined by their employer, in other words, it is the quintessential nine-to-five job.
On the other hand, freelancing is when a person is self-employed and works for different companies on a per-job/task basis.
Many prefer the nature of freelance work, as they are their own boss; they are free to make their own choices and decisions. However, it is important to assess the pros and cons of both options before deciding which is the better fit for you.
1- Work from Anywhere and Everywhere:
As a freelancer, you are not obligated to work from a specific location; your office is wherever you want it to be. You can travel anywhere and still get your work done. You can work from home, sitting in bed in your pyjamas, on the beach, on a plane or in another country – the choice is yours!
2- As Many Vacation Days as You Like:
If you need some time off there’s no need to ask anyone for permission! You’re not bound by a specific number of vacation days as in the case of a full-time employee. As a freelancer, you can take as many days as you want, whenever you want.
3- No Fixed Working Hours:
As a freelancer, an essential skill is time management. This is because you are not required to stick to a strict 8-hour workday as you would in full-time employment; you can work at any time you prefer. You know what you need to do, and you set your own deadlines, so you get to finish your tasks whenever you please.
Unlike full-time jobs, you don’t have a fixed monthly salary, you get paid per project, and as such, you could always work on more than one project at a time, so your income might even be double that of any full-time fixed salary, depending on your agreement with your client.
1- No Stable Income:
Although the money you earn as a freelancer might be better than a monthly salary, there is one catch – it’s not stable. It really depends on what a client needs at any particular time. There could be months where you are working non-stop and earning a significant amount of money, and others with no projects coming your way and thus, no income and you’ll have to live off your savings.
2- No Benefits:
Full-time jobs tend to offer employees various benefits, such as medical insurance and paid vacation days. On the other hand, the freelancing does not offer such benefits.
Freelancers tend to work alone, whereas, in full-time jobs, you usually work as part of a team and have colleagues around you. This is especially useful if you have a task requiring brainstorming and want to bounce some ideas off other people. This option doesn’t usually exist for freelancers.
Many prefer the nature of freelance work, as they are their own boss; they are free to make their own choices and decisions.
1- Fixed Salary and Benefits:
A full-time job guarantees a monthly income and, thus, a stable income to support yourself. You might not earn as much as a freelancer, but at least you know that you will have some money in your wallet at the end of each month. As an added bonus there are the benefits you receive as an employee, such as medical insurance and paid annual leave. Starting salaries for full-time employment range between 3000 EGP to 4000 EGP. The average salary for a person with several years of experience is 8,500 EGP, and employees who have 10 years of experience could earn upwards of 15,000 EGP
2- Working in Teams:
For most jobs, teamwork is a very important aspect, and positive work culture is an advantage of working full-time. Colleagues that you can bounce ideas off during tasks and who can offer a helping hand or their advice when needed are an advantage of working fulltime unlike freelancing which tends to be a solo job.
3- Career Growth:
As part of an organizational hierarchy, full-time jobs offer career growth in terms of job position and salary depending on how long and hard you work and how many years you spend at the company. For instance, with dedication and hard work, a marketing manager could possibly get promoted to marketing director at a company, an option that is not available to freelancers.
1- Lack of Work-Life Balance:
As a full-time employee, work tends to consume most of your time. There isn’t much time for any other activities during the week between the commute to work each day on top of your regular 8-hour workday.
2- No Choice in Tasks:
Full-time employees are usually obligated to work on specific tasks with specific deadlines set by their employer. You usually do not have a say in the matter. However, freelancers have the privilege of choosing what they want to work on.
3- Limited Vacation Days:
By law, full-time employees can only take 21 vacation days each year. This can be quite limiting for certain people, who wish to make each day count and plan everything in advance. On the other hand, freelancers are not limited by such constraints and can take time off whenever and for as long as they like.
Then there are several options available for your journey as a freelancer to begin. One of these options is Toptal a freelancing network site that connects freelancers and many global leading brands and startups such as Airbnb, Motorola, and the University of Southern California, among others. Toptal boasts their “screening process that identifies experts in their domains who have passion and drive” and that they only accept the top 3% of those who apply as freelancers. What’s unique about Toptal is that they match their clients and their freelancers as best as they can by conducting a series of interviews prior to each job which allows for a more harmonious work environment while the project is ongoing.