Have you thought about the following points when considering moving to freelance employment?
We have been speaking with a number of people recently that are wanting to take the jump into freelance work in various professions, so we wanted to write a couple of points down that may help make that decision and if it is the right decision for you!
Have you thought about the following when considering moving to freelance employment…
1. What is your appetite for risk?
If you are a risk averse person then this may not be the best option for you, there is a lot of risk involved in freelance work, whether that be loss of earnings/time off due to illness, injury or just the standard there are no positions available specifically within your field
Although this is unlikely as the market is booming, we still have flashbacks to 2008 when there was too many candidates and not enough positions.
2. What rate would make it worthwhile?
Freelance can be extremely lucrative, but have you actually worked out with an accountant how much you will earn after tax in comparison to how much you currently make on a permanent basis
3. Benefits that are important to you?
With a freelance position a lot of times you have your rate and that is it, whether that includes travel and any accommodation. With a permanent position there are things like healthcare, pension contributions, holiday pay, sick pay, insurance, car/ car allowance. With freelance if you are willing to work every day of the year this usually makes up the difference that you would lose but a lot of people go freelance for the flexibility.
4. Is the flexibility what you expect it to be?
There are definitely massive benefits with freelance including work/life balance, increased money and autonomy (job dependant), but there are also some candidates that work the same if not more hours due to needing to “earn” their rate within a company that are paying a premium for their service.
5. Notice period
This point links with number 1, do you currently have a 1-3 months’ notice? We speak with some people that are currently in a permanent position, have a 3 month notice period and want to find something before they hand their notice in… which is unrealistic.
Clients that are open to freelance usually want Llanners, Quantity Surveyors and Engineers immediately, which just doesn’t work when you have a notice period. This may mean that you have to hand your notice in before getting a position… Are you willing to do that?
Are the companies that you want to work for freelance offering your profession inside or outside? Navartis work with the large majority of the companies across the UK within Construction, Civils, Rail, Power and Telecoms sectors. We speak with and actively place with them on a daily basis. We would be able to confidently tell you if their last placements for your profession have been outside or inside IR35, what rates they have been paid, how long their typical project duration is and how long they typically keep freelancers working for. We will happily give you this information if you are thinking about going freelance.
If you are looking for more advice on IR35, how it works, how it impacts you and what you need to consider, check out our IR35 page where you can also reach out to our IR35 specialist, who will be more than happy to speak to you about your situation.
7. Hidden costs
A lot of clients that take on freelancers outside IR35 want you to provide your own laptop, software if you are a Planner, measuring equipment if you are an engineer, PPE, own LTD company insurances sometimes premises that they know you can work from. You need to think about those costs and either factor into your rate or accommodate for them before you start work.
These points aren’t to put you off moving into freelance employment, they are there to make sure you are considering all the factors involved so you can make a calculated decision that will work for you long term. Freelance can be a very stable and lucrative way of working, which offers autonomy and work/life balance, but worth thinking of these points before you make the jump.
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Want more advice on freelancing?
If you are keen to discuss your current situation and want to find out how we can help you make your next career step, then get in touch with our team of recruitment experts. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you and your career progress.