If you're one of the millions who has lost their job during this economic crisis you might be considering freelancing. As a freelancer, you are going to be classified as an independent contractor. Before you get started, you should be aware of both the pros and the cons of working as an independent contractor. Pros There is a lot of upside in working as an independent contractor. You can set your own hours based on how much time you want to dedicate to working. If you elect to work through a temporary agency, you will have the opportunity to work a number of different jobs. If you decide that you want to try your hand at a home based business, you can do that as well. You now control your own destiny instead of leaving it up to the big shots upstairs! If you are set on being an independent contractor, you can pick and choose what jobs you want to work. You have unlimited opportunities for growth - you are limited only by yourself. You can elect telecommuting for one or more companies. You can start your own freelancing business. You can work from your home (in your pajamas) if that is what you want to do. Being an independent contractor means you set your own schedule. If you want to start working at five o'clock in the morning or you prefer to wait until five o'clock at night, that is your option. If you want to work one day a week or seven days a week, you have that option available to you as well. As an independent contractor you get to decide how much you get paid! You are not worried about raises or bonuses as you now create your own. You and you alone have the opportunity to decide what your financial future holds for you. All of these are some of the pros of working as an independent contractor. Cons Although some people will tell you there is no downside to being an independent contractor, there are a few! One of the biggest downsides of course is how to stay motivated. If you are a self driven person then this is not an issue. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are and can work around them. One of the cons of being an independent contractor is making sure you have enough work. In order to keep your financial house in order you understand that you need to work a certain number of hours each week. As an independent contractor, you do not have a guaranteed set of hours. As an independent contractor you are responsible for your own "benefits". You will be responsible for paying taxes, maintaining health insurance and life insurance. All of these are taken care of for you if you are working for someone else. If you get sick, you have no sick days. Depending on your work load, you may find that regardless of how bad you feel, you still have to work. These are some of the cons of being an independent contractor. Summary Whether you are currently employed or you are unemployed and considering working as an independent contractor, you should carefully weigh the pros and the cons. Making the decision to work as an independent contractor means you are wise enough to measure the pros and cons.