BEING A FREELANCER IN HONG KONG.

Freelancer (noun)

/ˈfriːlɑːnsər/ US

I quit my permanent job to pursue this life of a freelancer/business owner.

I want to be more content to what I have been building for society. The previous company I was working for in Hong Kong is a big retail company, the main focus is sales, despite the well being that have been marketing with. Daily, building products, conducting research and looking into data, just in hope to understand customer’s behaviour better, to up-sale and cross-sale. That industry itself does not align with what I believe in building a better living society. (Felt like the morale is not aligned to what I believe.)

Taking what I learned from my awesome mentor, I moved to a consulting agency, hoping to pursue in a different industry. Little did I know, the life as a consultant in Hong Kong, as repetitive as it gets, I could never be in touch on a deeper level with the business or customers.

With those two experiences, I have finally made a decision to come out and start something of my own. Understanding the needs of conscious consumption for a better living for the Earth and mankind, I am hoping to be part of a community that we will make that difference. Everyday products are being manufactured to be sold. There are many manipulative marketing strategies to drive up sales. In which, a lot of things turns out to be in the wasteland. Which does not bring value to anyone in the world. My friend and I have started a local sourcing company, that connects locally handcrafted daily goods to consumers directly, hope to raise up conscious consumption. While at the side, getting in touch with clients who share the same value, to build things together. <- well, this is the goal we are working towards to.

But as much as a dream could be, I need to have some form of active income that could actually feed me. Therefore I take UX / UI freelances (YES IT IS A FIELD GOOGLE IT! LOL) to cover some of my expenses. I have noticed considerable changes to my life after I have pursued this type of lifestyle. For all the full-timers who are thinking of being a freelancer, here are some pros and cons for you to weigh it out!

 

FULLTIME
FREELANCING

 

Pros Cons Pros  Cons
  • Steady paycheck

  • Surrounded by colleagues in a team environment and a boss to guide you and give feedback

  • Structure and consistency to your schedule, hours and location

  • Company benefits, 401(k), etc.

  • Paid time off

  • Consistent workflow

  • Infrastructure for support like a technology help desk benefits contact, etc.

  • Focusing only on delivering work instead of generating new work, sales and marketing, troubleshooting, etc.

  • Limited earning potential

  • Subject to office politics, gossip, etc.

  • Potential boredom and lack of variety

  • Limited flexibility with schedule, hours and location

  • Lack of freedom

  • Less sense of ownership

  • Feeling stuck if there's lack of mobility

  • Commuting costs and time associated with it

  • Budgeting for meals/coffee breaks

  • Lack of time, energy and focus to pursue a passion project

  • You are your own boss, which means flexible schedule, hours and location

  • You can choose who you want to work with. Be selective with your clients (Mindblowing, I know.)

  • Unlimited earning potential

  • No commute or commuting costs (Work from home! Yay!) (Until you have to be on client site)

  • Getting to pursue your passion projects

  • No office politics (Well at least you don't have to suck up it to it for too long)

  • Casual work attire (sweatpants and pyjamas, anyone?)

  • Running every business aspect (sales and marketing, invoicing, signing, contracts, troubleshooting technology, keeping track of tax-deductible business expenses, making estimated tax payments, etc.) 

  • Tackling a variety of projects and clients

  • Feeling isolated

  • Hustling 24/7 for new gigs

  • Inconsistent work and cash flow

  • Juggling multiple clients

  • Instead of having one boss, you have several clients to answer to

  • No paid time off, no maternity/paternity leave

  • No company-sponsored health benefits (Insurance)

  • No one to back you up if you're sick or injured

  • Feeling scattered/unfocused and lacking structure