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The Pros and Cons of Freelancing: A Nigerian Perspective

Last Updated on June 28, 2023

Freelancing is a growing trend in Nigeria, offering individuals the opportunity to work independently. Freelancers are self-employed individuals who work on a project basis for clients. They enjoy the flexibility of working from home, choosing their own clients, and setting their own work schedules.

The benefits of freelancing include greater work-life balance, increased freedom and control, and the potential for higher earnings. However, there are also drawbacks to freelancing, such as the lack of job security and health benefits, the need for self-discipline and motivation, and the potential for irregular income.

Despite the challenges, freelancing can be a rewarding career choice for those who are self-driven and have the skills to succeed.

Pros of Freelancing

Freelancing has become increasingly popular in Nigeria, especially in recent years, due to its numerous benefits. In this blog post, we will delve into the pros of freelancing from a Nigerian perspective.

Flexibility in working hours

  • One of the top advantages of freelancing is the ability to create your own schedule.

  • You get to decide when to work, how long to work and take breaks as often as needed.

  • Freelancing offers you a better balance between work and personal life

Ability to choose clients and projects

  • Freelancers have the freedom to choose which clients they want to work with and what projects to take on.

  • You can work on projects that align with your interests and skills.

  • You are not restricted to working on the same project every day and can easily switch between different clients and projects.

Potential for higher earnings

  • Freelancers have the potential to earn more money than people working in traditional jobs.

  • As a freelancer, you can negotiate your rates and charge more for your services as you gain more experience and expertise.

  • You have the opportunity to take on more work and earn more money in return.

Avoiding office politics

  • Working in a traditional office environment can often involve dealing with office politics, which can be stressful and time-consuming.

  • As a freelancer, you work independently and are not subject to the same politics.

  • You can focus on your work and not have to worry about navigating complicated office relationships.

In a nutshell, freelancing in Nigeria can be a great option for people who want to have flexibility in their work schedule, choose their own projects and clients, potentially earn more money, and avoid office politics.

It’s important to remember that while freelancing has many benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges, such as managing your finances and workload. It’s up to you to decide if freelancing is the right fit for your career goals and lifestyle.

Read: Understanding the Legal Aspects of Freelancing in Nigeria

Cons of Freelancing

There are several downsides to freelancing, and it’s essential to be aware of them before making the switch. Here are some cons of freelancing that you should keep in mind:

  • Inconsistency in income: Unlike salaried workers, freelancers don’t have a steady source of income. Payments may vary from month to month or even project to project.

  • Self-motivation and discipline required: Freelancers work for themselves, and as such, there’s no formal structure or boss to keep them motivated. You must be self-driven to succeed.

  • Lack of job security and benefits: Freelancers don’t enjoy the same job security and benefits as salaried workers. They may also face competition from others who are willing to work for less money.

  • Difficulty in finding clients and maintaining steady work: Finding clients and maintaining a steady flow of work can be challenging, and it can take time to build up a network of clients.

Freelancing, while offering career control and flexibility, brings unique challenges. A fluctuating income can make financial planning difficult. Thus, mastering cash flow management is vital for freelancers to cover expenses during work lulls.

Success in freelancing requires self-discipline and motivation. With home distractions and isolation, maintaining focus is paramount. Self-motivation helps freelancers take on projects, meet deadlines, and build client relationships.

Job security and benefits are absent for freelancers. They lack employment contracts, health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacations. It’s their duty to handle taxes and personal finances.

Securing clients and steady work is challenging. Freelancers often rely on referrals, but building a work stream takes time. They compete against cheaper or more experienced competitors.

Essentially, freelancing is rewarding but comes with challenges: income inconsistency, self-motivation needs, absence of job security, and client acquisition. Still, with preparation, freelancers can thrive.

Nigerian Perspective

Freelancing is becoming more popular in Nigeria as more people are looking for ways to earn a living outside traditional employment. Despite its numerous advantages, freelancing has its unique challenges in Nigeria. In this article, we will explore the benefits and downsides of freelancing in Nigeria.

Unique challenges faced by Freelancers in Nigeria

  • Unstable electricity supply: Frequent power outages make it difficult for freelancers to work efficiently, which ultimately affects their income.

  • Poor internet connectivity: Nigeria has one of the slowest internet speeds in the world, making it challenging for freelancers who require fast and reliable internet to work.

  • Limited access to financial services: Freelancers often struggle to access financial services like loans, credit cards, and mortgages as they are considered high-risk borrowers.

  • Inconsistent income: Freelancers face uncertainty in income as they are in one-off contracts that are dependent on the demand for their services.

Pros and cons specific to the Nigerian context


  • Increased earning potential: Freelancers can earn more than traditional employees as they can take on as many clients as they can handle.

  • Flexible working hours: Freelancers can work at their own pace and choose their own schedules, allowing them to balance work and personal life.

  • Access to global clients: The internet has made it possible for freelancers to work with clients from anywhere in the world, giving them more exposure and opportunities.

  • Reduced commuting costs: Freelancers save money on transportation and other work-related costs, as they can work from home or anywhere with an internet connection.


  • No job security: Freelancers have no job security or benefits like medical insurance or a retirement plan, leaving them vulnerable to financial instability.

  • No paid time off: Freelancers do not get paid vacation or sick leave, which can be challenging when dealing with emergencies or personal issues.

  • Strict deadlines: Freelancers often work with strict deadlines and have to manage their time effectively to deliver projects on time.

  • Isolation: Freelancing can be a lonely experience as freelancers work alone, with no colleagues to interact with.

Examples of successful Nigerian/African freelancers

  • Temitope Ogunsemo: Founder of Krystal Digital, a digital agency that offers website design, social media management, and digital marketing services.

  • Njeri Rionge: A techpreneur and founder of Ignite Consulting, a business consultancy that offers business development and market research services.

  • Olufunke Ogunkoya: An HR consultant and founder of HR Bootcamp, a platform that provides HR consultations, recruitment services, and training programs.

  • Yomi Makun: Founder of Yomi Casual, a fashion brand that offers bespoke suits, and casual wear.

In short, freelancing is a viable option for Nigerians looking to earn a living outside traditional employment. While it has unique challenges, it also offers significant benefits such as increased earning potential, access to global clients, and reduced commuting costs. By leveraging online platforms and technology, Nigerian freelancers can grow their businesses beyond borders and achieve financial success.

Read: Essential Steps to Start Freelancing Successfully in Nigeria

The Pros and Cons of Freelancing: A Nigerian Perspective

Tips for Successful Freelancing

Freelancing can be a lucrative and fulfilling career choice for Nigerians willing to put in the time and effort required for success. However, it is not without its challenges. To help you navigate the freelance world, here are some essential tips for successful freelancing:

Networking and Marketing Strategies:

  • Build a strong online presence through social media, websites and portfolios.

  • Attend networking events and reach out to potential clients.

  • Create a niche for yourself and become known as an expert in that field.

  • Utilize freelancing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr for exposure.

Financial Management and Planning:

  • Set realistic rates for your services and consider your expenses and taxes.

  • Create a budget and stick to it to ensure consistent income and savings.

  • Invoice promptly and regularly follow up on late payments.

  • Consider hiring an accountant or financial advisor for assistance.

Developing a Strong Work Ethic and Routine:

  • Establish a routine that allows for work-life balance and productivity.

  • Set clear boundaries with clients to avoid overworking or burnout.

  • Practice good time management and eliminate distractions.

  • Hold yourself accountable for meeting deadlines and providing quality work.

Continuous Skill Development:

  • Stay up to date with industry trends and advancements through reading and research.

  • Take online courses, attend workshops and conferences to enhance your skills.

  • Network with fellow freelancers and mentors to learn from their experiences.

  • Consider diversifying your skills to increase your value and potential revenue streams.

Implementing these tips can help overcome the challenges of freelancing for Nigerians and set you up for long-term success in your career.

Read: The A-Z of Starting Freelancing in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide


We have discussed the pros and cons of freelancing in Nigeria. On the one hand, freelancing offers flexibility, autonomy, and the possibility to earn more money. On the other hand, freelancers may face irregular and unpredictable incomes, lack of benefits, and potential insecurity.

Despite the challenges, freelancing can be a viable career option for those looking for a better work-life balance and more control over their work. It is important to consider the market demand, acquire the necessary skills, and build a strong network to succeed as a freelancer in Nigeria.

To those considering freelancing in Nigeria, we encourage you to do your research, assess your skills and interests, and carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Freelancing can be rewarding, but it requires discipline, dedication, and persistence.

Finally, we recommend that freelancers should always strive to improve their skills, stay up-to-date with industry trends, and foster positive relationships with clients and colleagues. With the right mindset, tools, and strategies, freelancers in Nigeria can achieve success and fulfillment in their careers.

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