Why People Stick to Their Day Jobs

26 March 2011
If freelancing pays so well, why do people stick to their day jobs? What things will you lose when you freelance?

Most people treat freelancing as a supplemental income source or a nice little sideline business.

However, as you may have noticed, the average day worker tends to complain all day about how his work sucks and yet he holds on to it. What's up with this mentality?

Regular Benefits

A day job offers immediate security.

When you're freelancing, you're on your own. You have to to work hard to secure your finances.

In the Philippines, there are a number of benefits that regulars enjoy upon employment. These include Social Security System (SSS), Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth membership.

Since contributions are remitted and taxes filed on their behalf by the Human Resources Department, the day workers enjoy the security of being members of good standing with these departments. Loan approvals and hospitalization refunds are noticeably easier to process too. (Note that freelancers can also be SSS, Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth members but they themselves must file the paperwork and remit contributions.)

Perhaps the two most valuable benefits are medical insurance (which may cover dependents) and 13th month annual pay equivalent to one full month's salary minus the taxes. This duo is what's keeping mommies and daddies in their day jobs. With kids to feed and send to school, there is nothing scarier than not having a regular source of income.


The prospect of looking for clients and dealing with rejection on a regular basis is not an ideal scenario for most people.

Freelancing is the road less traveled and only the gutsy dare tread on it. One obvious risk is that you'll have to jostle with other freelancers when you job hop. Cut-throat competition can curb your earning potential when you don't know how to handle the rivalry.

Don't ever think that you've already hit the jackpot with projects that flaunt a thousand dollars in the price tag. Examine the work terms and do the math. How much are you actually paid for writing 1,000 500-word articles in a $1,000 project?

Charging insanely low rates doesn't bode well for the overall freelancing industry really. The practice takes away a real freelancer's pride and profit. Unfortunately, this trend is shamefully on the rise in online bidding sites like Freelancer and Odesk.    


There's more glamor attached to a day job than to freelancing.

Equating freelancing to self-employment (or worse - unemployment) is nothing new. Notice people's reaction when you say that you're connected with a reputable company. Maybe they won't respect you more, but you'll probably feel more superior anyway.

This is more of an egotistical preference, and it's crazy how much importance some individuals place on their titles than on their finances. Which is better: being an unknown millionaire or a popular executive on slave wages?

It will take forever to change society's view about something, unless people start introducing themselves with their bank accounts instead of their job position.

People stick to their day jobs for several reasons. If you're contemplating on whether or not freelancing is for you, you might want to check out first the fundamental requirements of working from home. Do you have what it takes to land a job online?*
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