If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve seen the lifestyles of all sorts of creatives on social media. From the successful freelancer living the dream to the struggling one barely staying afloat–they all exist.
While being your own boss seems out of reach, both in-house and freelance careers share the same gambling fate. We’ve seen the 9-5 designer climbing the corporate ladder, but also the one whose favorite workday is Friday–for obvious reasons.
No path is right or wrong, and each comes with its own pros and cons. But, in the end, choosing a creative career isn’t always black and white, so finding the perfect fit can help shape the path of your dreams.
The last thing anyone wants to do is undervalue their work or miss out on life because of a tipsy work-life balance. Step one to a fulfilling career is familiarizing yourself with the options available to you.
What’s the difference?
Without getting too in-depth into taxes, this is most likely the first benefit you were searching for. It’s no secret–creatives want and deserve good pay, like any other career path. Exact earnings entirely depend on the role, responsibilities, and company you’re with.
Creative freelancing is no different, however, it does give you more freedom to set your own prices and negotiate more freely. The one thing to remember is that while you can’t work multiple full-time jobs, you can handle multiple freelance gigs.
Not only does this allow you to multiply your income, but you can adjust your workload to your availability. A great example of a creative freelancer who scaled their career is David Feldman, who grew his annual earnings to $230k+ as a copywriter, digital marketer, and web developer.
Seeing is believing here, and David isn’t the only one leveraging their creativity. Kate Quinn is a voice-over artist who earns over $360k per year. If these examples don’t prove that freelancing is indeed lucrative, then we’re not sure what will.
Most people won’t think of credit as a deal-breaker when it comes to freelancing or in-house careers. Many companies require their in-house teams to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and in some cases restrict them from sharing their own work.
While not a problem for all creatives, some prefer their credit to be factored in. No different than the photography industry, credits help entrepreneurs distinguish their work and grow their client base. This small window of opportunity can be a game-changer in the short and long run.
If having your name credited is meaningful to you, then you might want to consider creative freelancing. Being your own boss means you create your own terms, and your clients will have to accept them in order to work with you. When employed, however, this isn’t the case.
After all, creativity is a passion, and being able to showcase your talent transparently is something special all creatives can relate to. Staying aware of these restrictions can help you navigate your career and build a legal portfolio you can share with the world.
After some time in workplace chaos, we all could use more of a positive work-life balance. Neither freelancing nor in-house careers automatically deliver this, though. Comfortable wiggle room entirely depends on your preferences and lifestyle.
Working 9-5 can be great for those looking to get work out of the way on a consistent schedule they can always expect. On the flip side, freelancing offers the ability to bypass the standard 9-5 hours, with the ability to make your own schedule.
While freelancing is flexible, it’s important to remember that multiplying your income usually requires multiplying your work hours. This can mean spending more time during the week or even extending your working hours to the weekend.
Most freelance work enables you to connect and work with various clients, projects and industries. It’s a straightforward method to explore new paths or passions you might’ve not thought about before.
Better yet, freelancers have the obvious option to choose which clients they want to work with, rather than working on assigned projects in-house. On the other hand, this is great for those who are satisfied with the scope of work their contract states when becoming employed.
It’s important to remember that the likelihood of having the freedom to explore within an in-house setting is slim. Team leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and some allow the freedom to explore new options. Analyzing these situations before entering them can ensure you’ll experience the growth you desire.
Working closely with creative directors also gives you the chance to connect with someone who has done it all, and more importantly, can mentor you in the right direction. Freelancing with Designity is exactly how many creatives explore newfound creativity and a love for different experiences.
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Work styles vary from one creative to the next. This mostly depends on whether or not you’re an introvert or an extrovert. As an in-house creative, you most likely will report to a manager of some kind, along with a creative team you’ll likely collaborate with.
When freelancing, the work style you deal with on a daily basis entirely depends on your decisions. This might mean choosing clients who prefer hands-on collaboration or a more isolated approach. It’s just important to keep in mind that you’ll be working alone, so it comes with the potential of feeling a bit lonely.
If working directly with clients isn’t your thing at all but you still desire the freelance lifestyle, Designity might be your preferred choice. Our more behind-the-scenes approach is great for those who consider themselves introverts or simply don’t want to deal with the hassles of clients and their accounts.
Have It Both Ways
All creative specialties have infinite possibilities of career paths that fit all personalities. But, in the end, it’s possible to pursue both the freelance and in-house paths simultaneously. Many creatives have chosen to freelance aside from their 9-5 career with great success.
Just as important as finding the time to do both, it’s important to consider your mental wellness. Creative work can be taxing on the mind, so ensuring you’re set up for success and not failure is the first step in deciding where you should go. No career path is worth sacrificing that.