What Is a Freelancer? A Complete Guide to Freelance Jobs

Freelancing can be the way to go if you want to be your own boss, explore a new career, or establish a side business that focuses on your passion project. Additionally, you wouldn’t be the only one if you choose to pursue freelance work.

Nearly 41.1 million Americans said they were freelancers in 2019, according to a survey by MBO Partners, whether they worked a few hours per month or full-time. To clarify, 12.4 million workers identified as full-time freelancers and over 15 million claimed to be part-time freelancers.


What Is Freelancing? Definition and Meaning

In essence, a freelance job is one where an individual works for themselves as opposed to a business. Even though they accept contract work from businesses and organisations, freelancers are ultimately self-employed.

Freelancers are in charge of a variety of tasks that are not the responsibility of traditional workers, including scheduling their own work hours, keeping account of the time spent on various projects, billing clients, and paying their own employment and company taxes. The businesses that hire freelancers refer to them as “contractors” rather than “employees.”

What Is a Freelancer? Types of Freelance Jobs


The term “freelancer” has a fairly broad definition. There are many words to be aware of when looking for independent contractor work. These can be helpful in both finding freelance job vacancies and introducing yourself and your work to potential clients.

  • Contract employment: Employment that is transient in nature as opposed to being a long-term commitment.
  • Similar to contract work, contract job.
  • Independent contractor: Another name for a freelancer whose terms of employment are established by a contract with another business or person.
  • The term “1099 contract role” refers to the IRS form that independent contractors use to declare their income, form 1099-MISC.
  • Contract consultant: A person retained for brief discussions on certain business concerns.
  • A position with the potential to transition from being a freelancer or independent contractor to a regular employee position is known as a contract-to-hire.

How to Find Freelance Work

Your quest for freelance work can get off to a fantastic start by concentrating on businesses that are known to hire independent contractors. For instance, the following companies have advertised the most freelance positions on FlexJobs:

  • Kforce
  • Principals of Accounting Kelly Ajilon Randstad
  • International Stride Robert Half, Inc.
  • Solomon Page Dahl Advisory
  • Communications Cactus

Most Common Freelance Career Fields

Freelancers are employed by a range of businesses, organisations, and government agencies, as you can see from the listings of freelance jobs on FlexJobs. There are freelance employment available in practically any profession you can think of, ranging from short-term, temporary assignments to long-term, full-time endeavours.

The most freelancers are employed in the following industries:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Administrative \sWriting
  • Consumer Assistance
  • IT and computer bilingualism
  • Editing for Medical & Health
  • Recruiting & HR
  • Knowledge & Training

Pros and Cons of Freelancing

Freelancing offers advantages and disadvantages just like any other job. You may make sure you’re ready for the obstacles by being aware of them.

Pros of Freelancing

One major advantage of freelancing is having control over your workload, the clients you deal with, and your revenue. When you work for yourself, you are in control. You choose the tasks you want to take on, the clients you want to work with, and the pay rate. You might be able to work part-time hours and receive full-time income, depending on your degree of competence.

Flexibility and remote work are also a perk. The majority of the time, working on freelance jobs entails working from home during the hours that suit you. There will be deadlines that must be met, but you will choose where and when to work.

Cons of Freelancing

The highest level of control has additional duties. As a freelancer, you are a business owner who must manage taxes, invoices, money received, your own health insurance, and the acquisition of all necessary software and equipment.

Another significant drawback of freelancing is the “feast or famine” mentality. You may have a tonne of work in certain months while having no customers in others. One client may have a constant contract with you, but you might find that they suddenly no longer want your services. Good financial management and continuous customer acquisition are necessary for freelance work.

Traits and Characteristics Needed as a Freelancer

You need to have a few characteristics to position yourself for success as a freelancer. Although not an exhaustive list, these fundamental qualities can help you determine where to put your attention.

Discipline
When you spend an hour online shopping rather than working, no one is keeping an eye on you from the corner of their eye, nor are your coworkers there to pass judgement. To keep on course, self-control is required.

Persistence
When you’re just starting out as a freelancer and attempting to find employment, persistence is crucial more than ever.

Resilience
As a freelancer, you’ll hear the word “no” more often than anything else. You’ll need to let rejection roll off your back because it’s part of the game.

Organization
You are in charge of many different things. You are responsible for maintaining a record of your earnings and outgoing expenses, immediately responding to customer communications, meeting deadlines, organising your files, and streamlining your workload.

Proactive
To gain new clients, you don’t necessary need to be outgoing in the conventional sense, but you do need to be a little aggressive. Whether you do it in person or online, networking and approaching strangers are skills you’ll need if you want to expand your business.

Communicative
A freelancer must communicate frequently. You must be prepared to manage the difficult talks with grace and professionalism, such as when you need to break up with a client or negotiate a higher rate. There isn’t a manager or other employee to do that grubby labour for you.

With these types of figures, it’s critical to set yourself up for success as a freelancer. Learn about freelancing, how to identify businesses and positions recruiting, and the qualities required to succeed as a freelancer by using this guide.

Prepared to Work as a Freelancer?

Finding freelance job need not be difficult. FlexJobs collaborates with thousands of organisations, from Fortune 500 firms to startups, to provide freelancing opportunities, full-time employment, and part-time employment across more than 50 job categories.

And every day, FlexJobs members have complete access to this database! Learn more about how FlexJobs may help you advance your freelance career by taking the tour.

Leave a Comment