–What are the perks of both? Does it make sense to ditch health care and big compensatory packages for freedom to choose work?
When you are a writer there you have two options when finding a job. You can either go work for a big corporation or go out on your own. Both have positive and negative aspects. If you work for a corporation you know how much money you will make every week where freelancing is very unpredictable. It can be feast or famine at times. Many corporations have benefits like healthcare, retirement packages, and 401k. Freelancing has none of those.
Something else you don’t get from freelance writing is a schedule. You don’t have to get up and get dressed to be to work at 8am. You can work anytime you want. You also have the option of who you want to work for. If your boss is a jerk, you don’t ever have to work for him again. There are literally thousands of people looking for writers so you have to stay with one employer forever.
My personal opinion is that freelancing is the way to go. Having the freedom to work whenever I want means that I will never miss any of my kid’s recitals because of being stuck at the office. I love being able to choose who I work for and what I want to write about. When you freelance you don’t have to take anyone’s crap.
Freelancing does have its downfalls though. One big one is healthcare. If you have a family and your partner doesn’t have a job that offers healthcare, corporate may be the way to go. Freelancing is risky. Some weeks you may have $500 worth of work. Other weeks all you make is $20. It is very touch and go.
One other difference, and this can be a big one, is that if you want to land a big corporate job you usually need a degree and experience. If you want to be a freelance writer experience helps but is not required. You basically don’t have to know anything. Any high school drop-out can call themself an expert and as long as they can back it up they can get jobs. No one cares about how many times you have been arrested or how many scams you have pulled. None of that matters. All that matters is that you can come up with 500 words on whatever bizarre topic they need you to write about.
In a nutshell if you need security you probably should go find a corporate job. If however you value your time and don’t like Mondays or mornings you should go with freelance. It is a personal choice. Freelancer work is definitely not for everyone, but neither is the cubicle. If you do choose to find a corporate job I would suggest trying to do some freelancing while you look for a job. You may just like it, or you may fall flat on your face and find another career that is more indicative of skills you already own.