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You are an ARC, project manager or TEC and you are tempted by the adventure of freelance work? Here is a « strategy » video where I give you some ideas to help you decide.

Hi, everyone, this is Vanessa Montanari from the clinical research blog. Today I’m going to answer a new question: Should I become a freelancer?

So, as you know, I started as a salaried CRA and then I did different types of missions in CROs, including CRA Lead, CRA monitor, regulatory submissions etc …

And then, what happened is that when I had my first child, I decided to become a CRA freelancer. I actually had the objective to be able to reconcile family life and professional life. I thought I could work myself, freelancing and earning more and I thought it would be a little easier.

I would like to tell you that if you want to be a freelancer, you shouldn’t do it hoping to run away from something.  If your goal is to run away, … I don’t know … running away from colleagues, running away from a bad atmosphere.

If your objective is to run away from something, it’s bad reason

. If your goal is to be freer, yes, but … Actually, when you’re freelance, you’re freer indeed. You’re freer to choose your clients, you’re freer to choose your schedule. But the truth is: you’re not really that free.

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Why do I say that we are not that free? Because we often have a stress like a Damocles sword over our heads, by saying if I don’t accept this mission, am I going to find another one?

We’re afraid, actually, we’re a little bit afraid of missing out. We can actually end up in small drifts where we’ll tend to take on too much work and we’ll end up maybe even more loaded than someone who would be on salary.

So, to be a CRA freelancer, you must have good self-control in order to be able to manage more easily all the financial stress, even if there are missions, there can be this stress.

In addition, you also need good business skills, good communication skills to be able to sell and find new missions on a regular basis

You should Know that between two missions, there can, be a gap of one month to a month and a half before you can find a new mission if you are a good salesman. It can take longer for some people. So, you have to juggle between intermission, that means starting a mission while another is not finished. You may be full time or 80% of your time.

So, these are times that are not necessarily difficult, but contrary to what we believe, being freelance is not necessarily synonymous with a balance between personal and professional life

So here I give you the rather negative aspects of the story, but there are many positive aspects in the sense that you are really free, free of your decisions, free of your choices and also free of your rates. Being a freelancer also allows you to increase your salary, even double it.

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So it’s still quite pleasant and positive. Finally, if you organise yourself well, you can actually work less. So, if the question is: Should I become a CRA freelancer? First of all, ask yourself the question, do you feel you have the shoulders to support being freelance? It is also important to know that being freelance does not mean you are unemployed. Therefore, you need to take out private insurance, which is quite expensive, costing on average 1000 euros per year. Otherwise, if there is no work, there is no unemployment and you have no support. So, you have to put money aside, you also have to keep money for retirement, because the freelance pension is very low, so you will have to put money aside and start thinking about your retirement now by taking out a private pension, what is known as the Madelin law, or by making financial investments in order to be able to prepare your retirement.

So it’s not that simple to be a freelancer, so you have to think about it.

Don’t hesitate to discuss it with people who are already freelancers, whether they are CRA or not, and if, after weighing up the pros and cons, you see that you’re tempted, then go for it! If you have sufficient experience, that is to say at least 4-5 years, you should know that you wouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a job as a CRA, especially if you’ve worked internationally, for big CROs, there won’t be any problem. So you don’t really take too many risks based on the quality of your CV.

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So I wish you a good day and then do the right things!.


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