Sorry to Break It to You, But Getting Paid Doesn’t Make You a Professional

Jin Park
Write A Catalyst
Published in
3 min readJun 18, 2024


Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

Time for a reality check. Society seems to have confused being paid for a job with being a professional.

Getting paid doesn’t make you a professional; it makes you a paid worker.

The Freelancer and Solopreneur Misconception

Freelancers and solopreneurs often get praised for living the dream — freedom, flexibility, working in pajamas.

What’s often overlooked is the chaos that accompanies it.

Life as a freelancer or solopreneur involves juggling multiple clients, chasing payments, and working odd hours.

Getting paid for this hustle doesn’t equate to being a professional.

Professionalism is more than just sending invoices and collecting payments.

It involves, but does not limit to, delivering consistent quality, meeting deadlines, communicating effectively, and maintaining integrity.

It’s about reliability, respect, and a commitment to mastering your craft.

The Paid Job Fallacy

This issue isn’t exclusive to freelancers.

Even in regular paid jobs, there’s a misconception that a paycheck equals professionalism.



Jin Park
Write A Catalyst

Top Writer at Hacker Noon | Entrepreneur & Mental Health Advocate | Founder of Seoul:Forge