Corporate Jobs vs. Freelancing

"There exist limitless opportunities in every industry. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier."

— Charles Kettering

I like security, regular paychecks, and paid vacation time. You know, the perks of a regular salaried job.

But … I also like getting paid exactly what I'm worth … taking more than a week at a time for my vacations … and configuring my work as a writer (something I love) around my life, not the other way around.

There are benefits to both. I've been in the corporate and the freelance worlds, and I have to admit, there are days I miss the simple routine of having a job.

Then I smack myself upside the head and realize I have a pretty nice lifestyle.

This isn't a walk in the park, though.

You need a pioneer spirit, a dash of a modern-day Davy Crockett or Calamity Jane. Do you have that? How about good old-fashioned work ethic?

So what's the difference between freelance copywriting and the traditional model of work? See if you can relate to any of these, and whether the appeal of freelancing outweighs the security of a job:

1. Promotions

In the corporate world, annual performance reviews are standard, along with a 3-5% raise or a promotion.

Freelancing? Give yourself a performance review, set some objectives for next year, and promote yourself. 10-20% increases are pretty common, and I know copywriters who doubled their income from one year to the next. It's all up to you.

2. Vacations

Two to four weeks of vacation a year is standard with corporate jobs. Freelancing? Take off whenever you want. Of course, you're not getting paid when you take off either. (But, as a freelancer, you also control your schedule. You don’t have to ask the boss for time off!)

I traveled about nine weeks this year, and I'm planning on 13 weeks next year. Keep in mind, however, I combine my work with my travels. You can, too.

3. Income

Corporate jobs often have limits on incomes. Freelance income is truly limitless. It's an open frontier! You can blaze your own trail and be a pioneer in a new niche, or make your mark in an established one.

My suggestion? We have two months left this year. Take a couple of days coming up soon to really take stock of where you are, and where you want to be a year from now. Write down some numbers — how much you made this year from your job, how much from copywriting, and what your freelance income goal is for next year. Figure out what you'll need to do the next 12-24 months to start enjoying the writer's life.

If you have a good job, keep it. Work at freelancing part-time until you build up a nice income to make the transition to being on your own full-time. If you don't have a job? Promote yourself today, immerse yourself in the freelance adventure, and stake your claim!

Did I miss any? What other benefits have you enjoyed from living the writer's life? Tell me in the comments.

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Published: October 31, 2013

7 Responses to “Corporate Jobs vs. Freelancing”

  1. Thanks for inspiring me, with simple language and effective communication, to keep at it as a writer. I am lethargic about my commitment to my copywriting course even though I am inspired by all the perks of the freelance writer life.

    I love words and communicating with others as a yoga teacher where we combine body movement and inspiring discourse. But as a writer I feel only writers block. I teach basketball players yoga and my homework assignment in my AWAI copywriting course is about a yoga basketball promotion. I should be all over this as I can use it to promote my own services to other basketball teams. But I haven't acted on it in a month since reading about it!

    Anyway, giving me that idea about in the next two months to set my course gives me some direction to redirect my attention back to the writer's path.I've enjoyed your articles!

    shaktidevaOctober 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  2. Great article Steve. I will print that out and keep it close to my desk... to help keep me energized while going through the six figure copywriting course.

    JerryOctober 31, 2013 at 11:48 pm

  3. I am bogged down by the life I'm trying to leave. I teach public school and also teach 3 classes at a local college. This is not for fun but to make ends meet. I also am a single parent for two grand kids. By the time I can sit down to write it is tough to make the words come about much of anything besides the frustrations of the day. I need a jump start method to earn enough to replace the part time job. Any ideas would be welcome.

    RickhartmaniiNovember 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

  4. Steve,

    Thanks for the offer. It means a lot. How do I contact you directly. You can reach me at


    RickhartmaniiNovember 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

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