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The gig economy is becoming increasingly popular in Singapore in recent times, even before the Covid-19 pandemic.
So what exactly are the differences between freelancing and a full-time job?
Freelancers are people who are self-employed, they provide their services or products to companies and organisations for an agreed-upon fee.
Compensation is usually determined by the quality and quantity of the service or product a freelancer produces or the number of billable hours per project.
According to figures from the Labour Force in Singapore 2020 survey by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), 228,200 Singapore residents worked as freelancers last year in 2020, whether by circumstances or by choice.
190,900 (84%) were primary own account workers, which suggests that freelancing is their main job. The remaining 37,300 (16%) were secondary own account workers who freelanced as a side job.
What about full-time jobs?
A full-time job is an occupation for people who conducts business activities or operations within a company, usually working an average of 40 hours a week.
Full-time employees are generally paid a monthly salary, regardless of the work produced each month.
Stability vs Flexibility
Full-time workers have a consistent work schedule and flow of monthly income and are bound with the security of an employment contract.
This enables full-time employees to plan for their short-term and long-term expenses and lives, reducing their uncertainty and stress for the future.
On the other hand, freelancers are given more flexibility to determine their work-life balance and are responsible for sourcing their own work.
This allows them to choose their own jobs, bill their own clients and change their own daily working schedules to fit their lifestyle and personal responsibilities, in exchange for having to take on the risk of a volatile supply of available jobs.
Benefits vs Independence
There are government-regulated statutory requirements for employers to provide their full-time employees with annual, sick, maternity/paternity and childcare leaves, health insurance and other employee benefits like healthcare insurance.
Unlike full-time employees, freelancers have their own obligations under the self-employed scheme in Singapore to account for. After declaring their Net Trade Income (NTI), freelancers have to make contributions to their Medisave, Contribute-As-You-Earn (CAYE) and CPF.
They are also unable to get any kind of paid leave while taking time off and are responsible for arranging their own training for upskilling.
However, most employers are knowledgeable of the disparity of benefits and their own cost-savings when hiring a freelancer, which in return increases the negotiating power of freelancers when determining their fees.
There is no right answer for everyone, it depends on what is best for you in your current stage of life. Neither of the choices is inherently better than the other, they are just different.
If you are highly independent, self-motivated and enjoy having the freedom to pick jobs and clients you want to work with, freelancing might be the better choice for you.
On the other hand, if you prefer stability and routine, a full-time job can help to decrease your day-to-day stress and help you become more comfortable in your own workspace, fulfilling your own happiness and satisfaction.
Ultimately, it’s all about finding what fits you and your life. Choosing either path is not permanent, and remember, there’s always the alternative of working in a full-time job while freelancing as a side hustle.
Take the first step Outside
Creating a new path of freelancing might be daunting, but building your portfolio and experiences through working on relevant projects are ultimately the most important steps to start with.
Fret not, we’re here to help! Micro-jobs platforms like Outside allows you to browse jobs according to your skill sets and location preferences while allowing you to validate and grow the skills you’re interested in.
By kicking off your journey with Outside, you can access these opportunities with built-in instructions to guide you in completing the jobs and gaining the experience to kick off your career.
Outside is Singapore’s leading community micro-job platform that creates micro (l)earning opportunities for students, homemakers and seniors.
As a two-sided platform, Outside provides an all-in-one outsourcing management platform for businesses, assisting in breaking down jobs into smaller simpler pieces and improving operations efficiency. For job seekers, Outside provides flexible job opportunities that users can easily pick up and complete within the Outside app, allowing them to work conveniently and earn reliably.