What is a freelance job

Freelance work: advantages and disadvantages

free collaboration is used by many companies and can be a great advantage, at the same time it can be a good alternative to the classic employment relationship. Above all, greater self-determination and freedom are seen as advantages of freelance work and are not uncommon Freelancer that is exactly why envied. The boss does not hang on your neck every day, the working day can be designed freely and you can also weigh up your own projects and clients. Often, freelance work is only associated with the positive aspects, which certainly exist, but which are also opposed by some problems. We explain, what freelance work is and what advantages and disadvantages it brings ...

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Freelance work: what is it?

In order to understand what exactly freelance work is, it has to be done first differentiated from normal employment become. The main difference between freelancers is that they are not directly employed and employed by the company. So he is not integrated into the company like an employee. They are also freelancers not bound by instructions. Instead, they receive work orders from the company - and are usually not only working for one client, but can work on several projects for different customers at the same time.

Freelance workers are counted as self-employed and freelancers must also register and register as self-employed at the tax office. Freelance workers are defined as entrepreneurs who work independently and on the basis of previously negotiated payments and invoices for other companies or companies and process orders or projects for them.

The Demand for freelance workers is getting bigger and bigger, which is why the number of self-employed people has continued to increase in recent years. That means many opportunities for jobs, but also growing competition in freelance work, against which you have to assert yourself in order to get the coveted jobs in your industry.

Freelance work and freelancers: a difference?

In parlance have meanwhile become different terms established, all of which are used more or less synonymously. So there is always talk of freelance work, freelancers or even freelancers. The question is: is there a difference or do all the terms actually mean the same thing? A differentiation that is not that easy.

Freelance work and freelancer are basically identical, mean the same thing and correspond to the definition above. The freelancer actually does - as the term suggests - on free lance bearers back who, as mercenaries in war, made their skills available for a fee. Wikipedia traces the origin back to the writer Sir Walter Scott, who describes freelancers in the medieval war in his novel Ivanhoe.

Freelancers, on the other hand, can differ. The decisive contrast: freelancers are always self-employed and have to state this against the background of tax law. Freelancers, on the other hand, can quite employed be. Section 18 (1) of the Income Tax Act contains a list of professional activities.

Here it says:

Income from freelance work. 2To the freelance work include the independent scientific, artistic, literary, teaching or educational activity, the independent professional activity of doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, notaries, patent attorneys, surveyors, engineers, architects, commercial chemists, auditors, tax consultants, advisory economists and business economists, sworn in Auditors, tax agents, alternative practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, journalists, photo reporters, interpreters, translators, pilots and similar professions.

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The advantages of freelance work

Perhaps you have already caught yourself not only imagining your work as a freelancer, but actually wishing it to be. Probably when the boss is driving you crazy. In such moments, freelance work is tempting and offers actually some advantages compared to the classic employment relationship.

  • You decide on orders yourself

    As a freelancer, you can decide for yourself which jobs are of interest to you, Which customers you want to work with and how long the collaboration has existed. If there are problems or if you cannot get along with a client at all, you can go new ways after the project and orientate yourself differently.

  • You are very flexible

    As a salaried employee, you are faced with specific requirements and expectations. There is a certain work that has to be done. Freelancers are much more flexible here. You can decide for yourself how many projects to accept and negotiate which conditions apply.

    Also Place of work and working hours are much more flexible. Freelance workers are often not tied to traditional office hours and can work on the go or from their home office.

  • You have a lot of variety

    Routine at work quickly leads to boredom. Anyone who has been doing the same tasks every day over the years will eventually do so in their sleep and long for variety. Freelance work promises exactly that, as you can always work with new companies, get to know other colleagues and of course involved in a wide variety of projects could be.

  • You have an impact on your pay

    Employees can also argue for more money in salary negotiations, but a possible increase is usually fixed for a longer period of time. As a freelancer, on the other hand, you can work with anyone name and negotiate new order and project your payment. Of course, you also need good reasons and arguments here, but you can adapt your salary expectations through increasing experience and new skills.

Freelance work: advantages for employers

It is also not without reason that employers are increasingly looking for freelancers. They offer new possibilities for personnel planning and also have a few other advantages for companies.

How employers benefit from freelance work:

  • Planning tailored to your needs. Freelancers always come in handy when more staff or specific skills are required for large and important projects. Here, an external freelancer can join the team for the duration of the project and contribute to the success for precisely this period. Personnel planning can thus react very precisely to requirements.
  • Lower costs. Since freelancers are not employed, the employer does not pay any social security contributions, as is the case with normal employees. In the end, a freelancer can be cheaper for the company than a permanent employee.
  • No notice period. In principle, there is no right to a notice period for freelance work and the collaboration can be terminated at short notice.

Disadvantages of freelance work

When viewed from the outside, freelance work is often only reduced to the advantages. Anyone who has never worked as a freelancer himself only sees the beautiful sides, for which he envies others. The grass on the other hand is known to be always greener.

The danger of such a one-sided analysis, however, is to get a distorted and completely wrong picture of freelance work - only to ultimately become disillusioned and disappointed when freelance work is completely different from what you imagined.

That's why we also show you which disadvantages are associated with freelance work:

  • You don't have a paid vacation

    Unlike salaried employees, freelancers are not entitled to paid vacation. There is a similar problem here when you get sick no continued payment is done. As a freelancer, you only earn money if you really work.

  • You need to insure yourself

    Since the employer does not pay any social security contributions, you have to take care of the most important insurances yourself. The mandatory insurance is essential Health insurance, the costs of which you should definitely plan, as this can quickly become very expensive for the self-employed.

    But also Pension and long-term care insurance are an important safeguard that freelancers have to take care of independently.

  • You need to avoid bogus self-employment

    Freelance work must not lead to bogus self-employment. It does if you dependent on an employer are, whose instructions are followed, are treated in exactly the same way as an employee, but at the same time maintain the appearance of a self-employed activity. For example, social security contributions can be saved - if the whole thing is discovered, however, companies have to pay immense additional payments.

    As a freelancer, you must therefore take care of not into bogus self-employment to slide.

  • They do not receive a fixed salary

    Freelance workers tend to be more financially insecure than employees. There is no secure monthly payment in the form of a salary, rather the wage depends on the order situation.

Freelance work: disadvantages for employers

Freelance work does not only have advantages for employers, even if these usually predominate. Hiring freelancers should therefore never be seen as a sure-fire success, but always requires the necessary attention and preparation.

Freelance work poses the following problems for companies:

  • Insecure availability. Freelance workers usually have various clients. This means that they are not always available automatically when staff are needed. If companies have already had good experiences with a freelancer, it is quite possible that they will not have any capacities the next time and that another freelancer will have to be found.
  • Repetitive learning. Every freelancer has qualifications and skills in his or her field, but every company works differently. The working method must be explained again with every freelancer in order to be able to work together as best as possible.
  • Less team spirit and loyalty. Freelancers who keep coming and going are never really integrated into the team. This can have an impact on the working atmosphere, so that there is no real sense of unity. Capacities are also invested in freelance workers, which could also flow into the loyalty of their own employees.

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January 10, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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