There’s so many different kinds of employment out there! You could work full-time, part-time, freelance, in-house: which one is right for you? What do they all entail? Is one better than the other? This article will help you separate these four major employment options and help you decide which is best for your career.
Full-Time Employment: Advantages and Disadvantages
Possibly the most common kind of employment, full-time workers are exactly that: full-time. This usually means working 40 hours per week, 8 hours a day, from 9am-5pm. Of course, your hours can vary depending on your location and employer, but this is the standard.
Pros of full-time employment
Those who are employed full-time can enjoy the following benefits:
Reliable income: since you are salaried and working a set number of hours each week, you know exactly what you’ll get paid at the end of each month.
Benefits: you’ll have access to company-sponsored benefits, such as transportation assistance, social security, healthcare, and more, depending on your location.
Time off: all full-time jobs provide paid time off and sick days, meaning you will have a certain number of days a year to do whatever you want–and get paid!
Cons of full-time employment
It’s not all positive, though. There are some disadvantages associated with full-time employment:
Lack of work/life balance: working that many hours could mean that your weekdays are dedicated exclusively to work, leaving little time for your family, social life, or educational aspirations.
Risk of becoming too comfortable: with a steady income, benefits, and vacation, you might decide that staying at your current job is easier than finding a new one, even if it means lower pay or long hours.
Increased stress levels: those who work full-time jobs are more likely to experience work-related stress due to extended periods of time on the job.
Part-Time Employment: Advantages and Disadvantages
Part-time workers often work in shifts for less than 30 hours per week, sometimes maintaining a fixed schedule and other times rotating shifts.
Pros of part-time employment
Part-time workers boast these advantages:
Flexibility: those who are employed part-time have more free time that they can dedicate to studies, another job, family responsibilities, or other engagements.
Ability to gain experience: if you’re just starting out or looking to try out a few different things before you fully commit to a role, part-time jobs allow you to see what it’s like to work in a specific role.
Time management: juggling multiple jobs or responsibilities can help you gain valuable time management experience and prepare you for having a full-time job.
Cons of part-time employment
Before choosing to take a part-time job, make sure you consider these risks:
Higher risk of being laid off: because they work less hours and aren’t salaried, part-time workers are more likely to be fired in the event of layoffs. Companies are also not required to provide part-time workers with severance packages when laid off.
Unstable income: part-time workers are on the clock a similar number of hours a week, but not a guaranteed amount, meaning your paycheck could vary significantly from month to month. In addition, sick and vacation days aren’t paid.
Lack of benefits: employers aren’t required to give their part-time employees health insurance or other optional perks, like transportation assistance.
Freelancing: Advantages and Disadvantages
Freelancers work for themselves: cool, right? Definitely, but make sure you consider both sides before making that jump.
Pros of freelancing
Freelancers, as their own bosses, can benefit from the following advantages:
Freedom and flexibility: as your own boss, your schedule is up to you. If you prefer to not work Thursdays and Mondays and instead work weekends, that’s totally fine. Get your best work done in the early morning? Go ahead.
Control over earnings: you can set your own rates and payment schedule, meaning you’re requesting rates that you decide.
Specialized skill sets: most freelancers are highly specialized in one area and that’s why companies hire them; they lack the in-house expertise. Freelancers can become experts in the area of their choosing.
Cons of freelancing
If working on a team is what you prefer, freelancing might not be for you:
Stress: you’re suddenly responsible for your own brand marketing, finances, and projects with little to no guidance from other colleagues or your boss (that’s you!). This, coupled with the pressure to always maintain a full client roster, can lead to a lot of stress.
Instability: most freelancers don’t sign contracts with their clients and this could mean you have twenty projects in September, fifteen in October, and just six in November. Your workload will vary significantly month-to-month.
Lack of benefits: if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. In the world of freelancing, you’re not salaried so there’s no such thing as paid time off or sick days. And you won’t have employed-sponsored health insurance, if that’s something you value.
In-house Employment: Advantages and Disadvantages
You could be a freelancer, but you aren’t sure if it’s the right choice for you. In-house employees are salaried and work for a company, usually in a quite specific role.
Pros of in-house employment
Choosing to be hired in-house gives you the following advantages:
Stability: instead of having to look for clients every month and request new assignments, you are performing your specialized tasks for just one company, providing the job security that freelancers can’t boast.
Set schedule/pay: you’ll be salaried, meaning you can rest easy knowing you’ll get the same paycheck every month and won’t be working weekends or nights.
Benefits: as an in-house employee, you’ll have paid vacation days, sick time, maternity/paternity leave, and any other benefits that the company offers to its employees, such as health insurance.
Cons of in-house employment
If you’re deciding between freelancing and in-house employment, make sure you carefully read through these disadvantages:
Reporting to someone else: you will have to report to someone else or multiple people, which can be quite the adjustment if you’ve been working on your own before.
Your tasks might vary: even if you were hired to do one specific role, such as backend development, you might be asked to take on additional responsibilities that go beyond your job description and skill set.
Lack of flexibility: gone are the days of beach working and fitting in lunch with your parents during the week (probably, unless you’re lucky!). In-house employment means you’ll be expected to keep a consistent schedule and be available, even if you’re working remotely.
No matter what you choose, it’s important to carefully weigh your options before making a decision. And if you’re just starting out in tech, think about which job would allow you to pick the one that best suits your lifestyle.