Working at home is one of the fastest growing trends in careers today. However, many people jump on the freelancer bandwagon without considering all of the drawbacks to working at home. While some people are naturally inclined to work at home, others find the transition more difficult to make. There are many benefits to working at home, but the drawbacks need to be considered before you make the choice.
The first drawback to looking for a work at home career is that your current career may not easily transfer to work at home situation. If you work in the medical field or are a police officer, being a freelancer might not be an easy transition unless you are willing to change careers entirely. Sales and administrative positions transfer well, as do creative jobs like design and writing. For those in jobs that can’t make the work at the home switch, you’ll have to think carefully about what you want to do when start working at home and start investigating that field.
Cost is another important factor in deciding if working at home is right for you. Although many mothers start working at home to save on childcare, there are added costs to being a freelancer. If you need health insurance, it will have to come out of your pocket instead of being paid by your employers. There are also many taxes that you will have to pay. Your record keeping must be excellent in order to keep track of your income and expenses and to fill out your income tax return at the end of the year.
Working at home with children is not always as easy as it seems. If you have young children that aren’t in school yet, it may be difficult to work when they are awake. This can mean lots of busy naptimes and late nights to get your projects done when they are sleeping. Family members can help take care of your children from time to time, but the responsibility of both your children and your job will be firmly in your hands. With older children, it is sometimes easier to work from home. But you will still have to start and maintain a fairly balanced schedule in order to get everything done.
Freelancers have to be very self-motivated and disciplined in order to get their work done on time and correctly. If you are the type of person that is motivated by outside factors (such as a supervisor), then working at home may not be your cup of tea. When you work at home, there is no one there to look over your shoulder and make sure that you are still working. Distractions like the television, the Internet, and housework can be hindrances to your work at home success.
Isolation is another problem for freelancers. Working at home alone can get frustrating and lonely. Make sure you are comfortable with spending time alone, and that you take steps to combat isolation. If you are especially prone to be depressed, then the isolation that comes with working at home may make you feel withdrawn and sad. Taking steps to combat loneliness is an important part of any freelancer’s success.
After considering these factors, you may decide that working at home is not right for you. However, thousands of people deal with these drawbacks and still have successful work at home careers. These reasons should not stop you from becoming a freelancer if that is really what you want to do. Just make sure you understand the realities of the work at home lifestyle before you commit to it.