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[personal profile] akabana
For the past few weeks I've been wondering whether or not I would go back to freelancing if I were to be offered a permanent or semi-permanent position. My contract was extended with another two weeks, so I will be on the company payroll at least until the end of August. There has been talk about a six-month contract, but nothing definitive. I've already stated I wouldn't decline a more long-term position, but it wasn't an easy decision to make.

Each choice has its pros and cons. As a freelancer, I had more flexible hours, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Although I could choose rather freely when I worked and for how long, I was also forced by necessity to work late at night or on weekends. Another issue is the pay. My impression is that when I'm working on a salary, I'm actually doing more for less. I once calculated I could make earn an amount equal to my current monthly salary by working two full (~40-hour) weeks as a freelancer. Although a freelancer incurs extra costs (pension insurance and such) and only rarely has the chance to work full weeks, the end result would be the same even with these variables: I would make more money as a freelancer. But on the other hand, working in an office provides a steady source of income, whereas a freelancer, in my experience, only faces two kinds of situations: swamped or bored. Either there's enough work for three people or there's not enough for a half.

So I eventually decided to give it a go, chiefly because of the stability of both the paycheck and the working hours. But the fact remains that I'm underpaid even by the standards of an academic field dominated by female employees. If they offer six months with my current salary, I'm game, if less, I'll become my own boss again. After the six months I'll have pretty much equal experience on freelancing and payroll employment, and hopefully will be better informed to reach a decision in favour of one or the other.

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akabana

March 2011

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