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Why I Chose To Freelance in Germany Instead Of Working Full-time?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2023 at 02:30 pm

Germany is known for having one of the best working conditions in the world. Attractive paycheck, easy work weeks, great holiday allowance, and several other benefits and perks. So why on earth would someone trade them to freelance in Germany? Freelancing is not so uncommon in Germany. In fact, there’s an ever-growing self-employment economy in Germany.


Well everyone has their own reasons to become a freelancer in Germany or elsewhere. Here are mine. 


I Did Not Want To Work From 9 To 5

This was clearly my biggest motivation. I hated, I mean absolutely hated working with a typical 9-5 (in reality a 9-9) work routine. It only took me a couple of years to realise that  I want to work on my own terms before I quit my last full-time employment and started freelancing.

And I did it cold turkey too.  Luckily for me, it all worked out and I was fairly quick to find work. After all these years, I’m lucky to have built up a pretty decent portfolio and even set up a small marketing agency.


I Can Focus On Your Life Outside Of Work

When you are saving time commuting to your workplace each day and working on a relatively flexible work routine, you’re bound to save up some of your work time. Maybe you always wanted to join a gym course, or a music class you can now utilize your time just the way you always wanted. It’s totally your choice to decide how to structure your work schedule – weekdays only or work whenever you feel like it. It’s your time, your work routine.

I Can Put The Fun Back Into Work

Do you want a midday reading break? Or some playtime with your attention-seeking kitty? Or take your dog out just because the weather is great outside? Want to go for lunch at the cafe? Well, work from home and you can do all of that. I take quite a few short breaks during my workday. Mostly to play with my cat because he’s the cutest little sucker for attention. Or to fix me a nice lunch while listening to my favourite podcasts.


I Am More Productive

It’s not just my observation btw. A few people in my circles have had a chance to work from home once in a while. Almost all of them said that they felt there were fewer distractions at home.

It kind of makes sense, since you don’t share a workspace with a colleague or need to join anyone for lunch. It may not be for you if you’re the kind that misses water cooler gossip sessions or workspace politics. But generally, you will be able to get more done if you are the only one at work.

This brings me to this…

It’s Perfect For An Introverted Person

If you are an introverted person and don’t care about small talk or office politics, or too many forced day-to-day interactions, then you may enjoy working from home. But working from home does not mean that you can completely avoid human interaction. I would not recommend that as it’s quite unhealthy.

To successfully freelance in Germany (or anywhere else) You still need to acquire new clients for your business. To do that you will have to interact with them. Whether via audio or video calls. Not only that, but you will also need to be a good salesperson (after all you’re selling your brand!). On average, I have about four calls per week with existing or potential clients. Some clients even want to have calls each day – which in some cases is okay.

However, as an introverted person who actively avoids getting invited to parties, I still find this level of interaction quite alright.


It’s a Less Expensive Way to Live

No more spending money on gas or on public transport. No more buying lunch outside. No more formal wear shopping. You can live quite a frugal lifestyle if you start working from home. My cost of living in Germany went down dramatically since I started working from home exclusively.

There are the day-to-day business expenses still, however, they’re not stemming from my travelling to a different location each day just to work. In fact, I started saving up towards my housing and retirement funds as soon as I started freelancing full-time from home.

And to do this as well
And to do this as well

You Can Double Or Quadruple Up Your Earning Potential. Very Fast!

It’s true that in Germany the monthly salaries are amongst the highest in the world. However, if you are a freelancer you have a much better chance of springing up your earning potential. As a new freelancer with little experience, it takes a while you build your ‘street creds’ but once you’re there, you can steadily increase your hourly rates or fees – depending on your business model.

Since I started to freelance in Germany, I have been able to increase my average hourly rate from €7/hr – €80/hr. That’s within 24 months’ time. It may not sound like a lot, however, it is quite hard to increase your income by this per cent at full-time employment. If you have had this kind of raise at your workplace then I’d like to know where you work! 😛


Do you also freelance in Germany? So what do you love about working from home? Or does this list make you want to quit your job and become a freelance? Tell us in the comments below.


Freelance in Germany

Hi there, I am the human behind this blog. If you could not tell by my photo, I am fueled by tea. My expat journey started at the age of 19. Germany has been my home for several years. I hope you will find some helpful insights if you are considering moving to Germany or already live here.


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