What is a freelancer?

If I had a dollar for every time someone sent me request for quotation with a ridiculous budget, I would have earned enough of dollars for early retirement. Please do me (as well as my fellow freelancers) a favor: read this.

First of all, what a freelancer IS NOT

Many of us freelancers chose to freelance not because we couldn’t find a job, but rather, we chose to work for ourselves so we can have more time for ourselves or for our loved ones.

A freelancer may have normal working hours just like anyone else who work normal hours. If you do not appreciate your boss calling you in the middle of the night asking for the Powerpoint presentation, you do not want to do the same to a freelancer.

Moonlighter/student/part-timer/odd job worker…
Myself, and many fellow freelancers I know, do what we do on full time basis. We don’t do it because we want to earn a couple more hundred bucks to buy more console games, we actually have a living to make.

We faced difficult times, we faced low seasons, we dealt with them and persevered on. We do not have paid-up capital, but many of us actually last much longer than some private companies do!

Like you, a freelancer has bills to pay too. By choosing to work for oneself does not mean a freelancer should be punished with a pay cut. Compensate fairly for one’s work.

A freelancer may work as hard, if not harder, than many salaried professionals. The biggest difference is, a freelancer doesn’t sit around, play computer games all day and still expects to collect paycheck every end of the month.

What a freelancer IS, then?

According to Wikipedia:

A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term.

if I may add on to it, a freelancer may also be…
a father/mother;
a breadwinner;
a person who has family, friends, and life.

Most of all, a freelancer may be the expert in his or her fields of practice, who, just like you, can use a little respect and dignity.

Dean’s note: This post was first published on 8 Jun 2012 and it has been updated on 11 Nov 2017 with some text edits.

In case you haven’t already, you may read a little bit about myself here:

P/s: If we do meet up for discussion, I promise you will walk away with at least a tip or two; regardless if we end up working together or not!