In this digital age with the emergence of freelancer sites for graphic designers and all sorts of talents, many designers are converting to full-time freelancers or part-timers.
Accelerated by the pandemic and working-from-home trend, the gig economy is becoming popular globally. Younger generations are turning into “gig workers”, by choice or by force.
While it is perfectly fine taking some freelance jobs while being employed, should graphic designers especially the junior ones jump into this bandwagon on a full-time basis?
It is understandable why experienced designers, say art director level, turn freelancers after accumulating years of working experience and intend to escape the 9 to 5 job routines.
On another hand, does it make sense for fresh graduates or junior graphic designers to go full-time freelancing? While you get to enjoy the hugely-desired “freedom” and make your own calls, there are just too many disadvantages and a big price to pay for your freedom.
Here are the reasons why inexperienced graphic designers shouldn’t turn gig workers in my opinion.
Don’t you want a progressive career?
Imagine if you become a freelance graphic designer today, it can be difficult to go back to employment in the future. You have to overcome the “mental block”, plus employers might have second thoughts too.
On another hand, you get the opportunity to advance your career while you work for a proper company. From a junior designer, senior designer, to art director – you get the idea. Not to mention the salary increment and benefits if you prove to be an asset to your employer.
Think about it, do you want to become a freelance graphic designer throughout your career – until you are old?
Do you want to go solo forever?
If you work in a company, you get to work with seniors or mentors, and also mix around with someone else – be it from sales, marketing, or any other department.
It is one of the great ways to widen your horizon and understand how the business or market works. You might get other useful career or even life perspectives too. We, humans, are social beings.
Unless you are an otaku, do you prefer to be alone all the time while preserving your sanity?
Have you considered the cost of freelancing?
You might not be aware of the cost and time required to run a business, even a freelancing business. Computers and equipment need to be upgraded from time to time, how about paying for the Adobe software, stock images, etc?
If you work for a company, all these are well taken care of plus saving you from some administrative work too. Companies will pay for your EPF, cover your medical claims, and probably insurance too.
Believe it or not, EPF will be significant when you get older. This pool of money can gradually go up to 6 figures after you work for years, while full-time freelancers have to grow their own reserves.
Can you compete with global talents?
If you are starting from fresh or without a convincing portfolio, how do you compete with others, and why would clients want to work with you?
Do you offer cheaper rates than others? Can you actually make more money versus going for full-time employment? Are you getting paid accordingly with the skills and time you are rendering?
Just take a look at platforms like Fiverr with global talents offering super affordable rates – are you able to compete with them?
Do you like to handle clients?
In most cases, clients engage freelancers or part-timers on a project basis, without a long-term engagement in mind. It is usually to solve a short-term gap or need.
One of the important aspects of running a service business including freelancing is to have as many retainers as possible so that you don’t need to keep looking for new clients.
Do you have what it takes to do sales? Do you enjoy dealing directly with different kinds of clients – especially the smaller businesses that might not value creativity as much as you do?
While you don’t have to agree with my opinions, just be open-minded and ask yourself the questions above. If freelancing is still the best option for you, just go for it and don’t regret your decision later.
Be it freelancing or being employed, dedication and discipline are the only way to be successful in your career. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Meanwhile, if you are a positive and dedicated talent looking for a full-time graphic designer job, check out our career page and apply online.
p/s: We are open to freelance creative designers too on a retainer basis, preferably those with experience, and those with a good portfolio to showcase 🙂