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Lead Your Team Personal Growth

8 Freelancers on What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs

8 Freelancers on What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs
Credit: Aysezgicmeli/Shutterstock

Not everyone works a 9-5 desk job. Some people, like freelancers, can work from home in their pajamas, work nights or even travel the world while they work.

Sounds great, right? But before you quit your job and take on the world of freelancing in your respective field, you should know that not everything is sunshine and rainbows. There are also big challenges and hurdles to face when you work as a freelancer, like financial instability due to the lack of a steady paycheck, and the stress of managing everything yourself.

Business News Daily asked freelancers what they love and hate about their jobs. Here's what they had to share.

Kate Morgan, principal and founder, Morgan Publicity

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Kate Morgan: I am freelance publicist specializing in American brands that want European press, and European brands that seek U.S. press — tapping into my London connections (I'm British) and my U.S. resources (I live in Los Angeles now). 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Morgan: Being my own boss, following my business intuition, and being able to work from wherever I choose and [during] the hours I choose is what I love most. If I want to travel to my hometown of London at the drop of a hat, I can. If I want my Saturday to fall on a Tuesday, I can make that happen. By being freelance, I am able to tap into my peak creative hours, which does not necessarily fall under a 9-5 work schedule. Being chained to a desk was soul destroying for me. Going freelance has been enlightening, and I have never been happier both in my business and my personal life. [Working for myself] improved my relationship with my partner!

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Morgan: I miss being able to bounce ideas and brainstorm with colleagues, or the sharing of in-house business leads — critical in PR, as everything about my industry is timing. That said, it just makes me hustle more! I resolved the not-working-in-an-office issue by finding new work peers, other PR freelancers. I'll schedule 'working dates,' pick up the phone and discuss an idea or concept with another freelance PR, and I always return the favor. I like to think that now I work in a remote office — no walls, no physical boundaries. My peers can be in London, Spain, the United States — anywhere. With the Internet, you're always connected to work associates in some capacity. 

Jeremy Gregg, freelance writer, marketer and Web designer

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Jeremy Gregg: I love the thrill of the hunt — being able to go out and find my own clients. I have been in sales my entire professional life, so this really suits me well. I also love the flexibility of my hours, and knowing that I can work from anywhere in the world and at any time, as long as the work gets done. Most importantly, I like knowing that I benefit directly from whatever work I put in: My compensation is directly related to how much I work. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Gregg: Until I can build up enough capacity to hire someone to help me, I have no backup when I get in the weeds. I had a virtual assistant for a while, which was great, but it was too expensive since it did not really expand my capacity to execute the core tasks that I am uniquely qualified to do (and for which my clients hire me). Since I am fairly good at securing work, the greatest challenge is simply completing the projects I've landed. However, [another] challenge is cash flow: I have a client that won't let me bill until after 30 days of work, and then they take 60 days to pay. That means I work for free for three months before getting paid. This can cause many worried nights when cash is tight. [Want to Be a Full-Time Freelancer? What You Need to Know ]

Tim Wallin, co-founder and SEO specialist, Lyft SEO

BND: What do you do?

Wallin: I work from all over, but mainly in Puerto Rico right now. I used to work as a financial advisor and insurance salesman, and then I became a professional spearfisher and website designer/SEO consultant. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Wallin: I definitely love the freedom of not having a boss. I get a lot of ideas, and the ability to pursue my passions is the pinnacle of freedom for me. Most days, I work in whatever attire I choose and my hours are not dictated by anyone else. It would be nearly impossible for me to ever go back to the 9-5 world. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Wallin: Really, the only negative is that there is unlimited potential for ideas and thus my workload mounts. I definitely work more hours now than when I was in the insurance business, but it doesn't feel like work any longer. I genuinely enjoy helping people improve their business, and it's gratifying to see my actions produce results. 

Sam Landa, writing and marketing freelancer

BND: What do you do?

Landa: I'm a freelancer with PR, marketing, writing and social media clients. I work with companies in IT, coaching, fitness, e-commerce and more. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Landa: I love the flexibility involved, especially since I'm a digital freelancer. I can work from home, the coffee shop, a patio — that in itself is a luxury. It's nice to feel like I can choose my clients. If I don't think a project or company is a good fit, I'll refer them to someone else I trust. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Landa: The lack of structure compared to a 9-5 is tricky, and setting priority levels for clients can be challenging. It can feel overwhelming trying to juggle administrative tasks — keeping track of finances and taxes, invoicing/payment schedule, responding to inquiries — with client deliverables. While I'm technically my own boss, my clients hold me accountable. (It's actually kind of a plus. It's just a common misconception that freelancing means you call the shots.) I don't get paid to go on vacation like I would with a salaried position, so I have to take time off carefully — or work from the beach! 

Nicole Canulla, PR consultant

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Canulla: I love the flexibility. It's the first time in my career that I've been able to be my own boss. I manage my schedule, my workload, my client's expectations, and I can feel 100 percent responsible for my career successes. I also love the power to work with the people who I want to work with. I look for clients who value PR, who appreciate my hard work, and those who look at me as a partner and a team member. I know it's a true privilege to be able to choose my clients and my colleagues. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Canulla: I hate the term freelancer! I refer to myself as a consultant. The term freelancer is associated with being temporary, and the dictionary refers to it [as being] without personal attachment or allegiance. On the contrary, I am always fully invested in my clients and those who I partner with. I believe that the way I can add the most value is when I'm seen as an extension of a team. My clients can trust that I am there to help drive their business results, not just fill a void for a short-term project. 

Brit Casady, graphic designer, Brit Casady Design

BND: What do you do?

Casady: I do freelance graphic design through my own company, Brit Casady Design. I primarily work on logos, branding and identity, infographics, wedding packages, and marketing material. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Casady: What I love most about being a freelancer is the versatility as well as the variety. I really struggle with monotonous projects, and therefore really love the diversity found in freelance jobs. I love being able to expand my talents in many different directions through each new job. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Casady: [The] constant struggle of placing a price on the work that is done. Although I have a set rate and put a lot of thought into each of my invoices, it is still difficult to find a balance between how much the job was worth, the budget of the client and how much I am willing to just eat in costs in order to get the work. This is especially difficult when working with inexperienced startups who are looking for cheap but quality work, and they don't necessarily understand how much goes into a particular design project. 

Jenna Robbins, writer/editor and Web consultant

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Robbins: I love that I can work from most anywhere in the world, as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection. Since leaving my full-time job three years ago, I have been to more than 15 countries, several of which I have stayed in for extended periods of time. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Robbins: My clients expect me to work all hours, including weekends. I'll get an email from someone on a Saturday morning and then another email on Sunday asking why I haven't responded yet. This is usually the same client who will pay me more than a month late and then complain when they are charged a late fee. I wish more clients respected freelancers' time and financial status. 

Jonathan Craig, television producer

BND: What do you do?

Craig: I am a television producer from Los Angeles who has worked on "Top Chef," "Lockup," "Project Greenlight" and several other documentary and competition shows. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Craig: I love the autonomy of freelance work. Once I established a network of clients, I was able to make more decisions about what projects I wanted to work on, in what capacity, for what length of time and whether I wanted to take breaks in between. Ultimately, I have been in the driver's seat of my own career, choosing its direction — for better or worse — each step of the way, and it has felt great. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Craig: The downside to the autonomy of freelance work can be the responsibility that comes with such freedom. Because I work project to project for clients, I don't have a consistent employer to manage my retirement or health insurance, and I have to keep quite a bit of money in savings to protect myself from unexpected gaps in employment. These things can cause stress at times, and did especially at the beginning of my freelance career when I was doing the research to set up and maintain all of these extracurriculars. But I now take great satisfaction in being aware and having control [that] I wouldn't have if an employer were making these decisions for me. 

Brittney Helmrich
Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.