Copyright 2002 By Paul Bednar
There are numerous myths about free agents. On the surface, they
appear not to be myths but facts. However, get below the surface
and these misconceptions quickly crumble. This article will not
attempt to debunk all the myths, just five widespread ones.
Myth 1: Working for a company is more financially secure than
being a free agent
This myth is based on the premise that a company provides security
to its employees via consistent paychecks. Nothing could be further
from the truth. Ask any person who has lost their job in the current
economic climate if working for a company provides financial security.
While it is true that free agent income can sometimes be inconsistent,
a free agent is able to work for multiple clients simultaneously.
For example, Sally Free Agent is a web developer and currently has
3 clients. Joe Smith, corporate accountant, works for a Fortune
The current economic conditions impacted Sally last month and one
of her clients had to abandon their project. While this was not
good news for Sally, she still receives income from her 2 remaining
Yesterday, Joe found out his company posted disappointing quarterly
earnings and a layoff was necessary to improve the company's balance
Now, let's see who has more financial security. Is it Sally, who
recently lost a client and still has 2 different income sources?
Is it Joe, who lost his only income source?
A free agent that has a diverse client base is always more financially
secure than an employee who only works for one company.
Myth 2: When you are your own boss, every day is a party
Employees in corporations believe that free agents have a relaxed
work ethic. They envision getting out of bed by 9:00AM, eating lunch
by 2:00PM and then heading to the golf course or spa for the afternoon.
The myth continues the following day as free agents get up and do
it all over again.
The reality is quite the opposite. Free agents typically work more
hours and have more responsibility than their employee counterparts.
Why? Doing the "work" the employee does is only one task for a free
agent. Other items such as marketing one's services, tracking expenses,
and networking are a few of the additional daily responsibilities
incurred by free agents.
Myth 3: Free agents are immune from corporate politics
This myth implies free agents are protected from corporate politics
because they are not employees of their clients.
Actually, free agents are very in tune to corporate politics. Since
each client has their own different political nuances, free agents
are involved with multiple political environments.
Sometimes free agents are brought in as an objective third party
to settle a political dispute. Another example is if the client's
representative that hired the free agent leaves or is reassigned
during the project. These situations require free agents to be very
adept at navigating through different political environments and
One positive aspect is free agents do not have to deal with a client's
politics beyond the project's term.
Corporate politics is a reality whether you are an employee or a
Myth 4: All I have to do to succeed as a free agent is just print
some business cards
Any person contemplating free agency that believes the above statement
will be an employee in the very near future. Becoming a free agent
is relatively easy compared to starting a manufacturing company
or most companies from scratch. However, the disparity ends there.
The pitfalls to free agency are similar to any business: market
yourself to get clients, produce a quality product for a reasonable
price and make a decent profit. Another caveat to consider is that
most companies usually begin with more than one person. Free agents
typically work alone and do all the work, even the coffee making
Myth 5: Free agents charge too much money
When employees inevitably find out the amount of money a free agent
receives for a particular project, the typical response is one of
jealously, "Why did that free agent get paid so much? I could have
performed that project for less money."
Employees have to remember that a free agent is entirely responsible
for their own benefits and expenses. A small sample of these issues
include taxes, retirement, health insurance, professional development,
office space, vacation, and sick days. In addition, work (your income)
is not guaranteed for 52 weeks a year like an employee.
Benefits and expenses cost an employer a lot of money. Estimates
fluctuate between 100% - 300% of an employee's salary.
In order to earn the financial equivalent of a particular
employee's salary, a free agent generally needs to have revenues
of at least twice that employee's salary.
Paul Bednar helps people cut the corporate chains and become a free
agent or consultant. Visit his web site and subscribe to the free
newsletter at http://www.free-agent-information.com.
| CGI tutorial
| Email Tutorial
Tutorial | Cookies
Tutorial | Privacy Tutorial
Tutorial | DreamWeaver
Tutorial | Domain
Name Tutorial | Business
Plan Tutorial | Search
Position Tutorial | Online
Advertising Tutorial | Ecommerce