It seems like nowadays, everyone wants to become a freelancer. It comes with many benefits compared to a regular desk job and it’s something you can do while staying at home. This article from Forbes.com goes into more depth about the benefits of freelancing that you wouldn’t see with a regular job, and many people will find that the reasons for switching to a freelancing career are compelling enough to start planning the switch.
However, there are some major concerns regarding freelancing that most people don’t seem to realize. They think that it’s simple, they think it’s easy to get clients and they believe that they’ll be successful as long as they have the skills required. Unfortunately, freelancing is more akin to being self-employed and having your own business than just working on a per-contract basis. You need to find your own clients, you need to be willing to advertise yourself and you need to be active on social media to build your reputation.
In this article, we’re going to expose some of the realities of freelancing. We’ll be showing you some of the major points to consider before you decide to switch to a freelance career so that you can decide if switching is a good idea or not.
- You need to manage your own finances or hire some to do it for you
Remember those regular contributions you made to your pension and all the taxes you automatically paid? Well, that’s all out of the window now. You’re going to need to do that all by yourself and there’s no way around it unless you pay money to hire an accountant or financial manager. You’re also going to need to chase people for money, especially those that refuse to pay on time or conveniently have issues with their bank and can’t pay you yet.
You’ll find practical solutions at InvoiceFinancingAustralia.com.au for chasing invoices, but it’s important to never let your guard down when it comes to getting paid. You’ll encounter many people that just refuse to pay you for your work and there will be some people that try to circumvent paying you by offering other compensation. If there’s no money involved, then don’t take the offer.
- You might not need to leave your current job… yet
If you plan to quit your job then there are several things you need to take care of before you do so. In this article from Mashable.com, you’ll find that there are many considerations to keep in mind before you decide to quit your main career. For instance, you’ll need to have some savings to help you fund your freelance career (it’s not free, after all!) and you’ll need to prepare to turn your home into an office that can help you focus on your tasks. In fact, many people actually stay with their current job and work freelance on the side. This is so they can secure multiple sources of income, and it also gives them a plan B to ensure that if their freelancing career does fail, they can always return to their previous job. In short, start your freelancing career while you still have your current job and don’t go all-in and quit your current workplace.
- Do you have the skills required and a way to advertise them?
Let’s face it, not every skill can be turned into a freelance career. It’s usually creative arts such as music, illustration, design, video editing and writing that can easily find a freelance opportunity. In fact, you could start a freelance career with limited skills, but you absolutely need to have the ability to advertise them as well. This means that you need to be active on social media and you need to understand how to appeal to your target audience. Take a look at this informative post by LifeHacker.com to help you find clients no matter what skills you have. It’s important to branch out and network with as many people as possible to help spread the word and find clients that are worth your tie.
- Do you have the discipline to work on your own?
Many people work better in the workplace because they are surrounded by like-minded individuals that are all working towards the same goals. However, if you decide to become a freelancer then you might find that it’s more difficult than you think to stay focused and motivated since you don’t have others around you, nor do you have a strict deadline that you are constantly reminded of. As a result, you might find that it’s difficult to become a freelancer without having the strong self-discipline required to control your schedule.
- Can you truly give up your own interests and become a freelancer?
Many people believe that they can become freelancers purely based on their interests. For instance, someone that loves writing might become a freelance writer because they’ll eventually secure a spot where they can chase their passions and write fictional stories. Sadly, the reality is much different. They’ll likely be used to write advertisements, blog post and other types of content for their client–hardly what they initially imagined. Because of this, you’ll need to eventually give up your own interests and potentially even learn to hate your craft because you associate it with work and not leisure. In fact, there are many concerns, such as this post from Quora.com, which show that you might lose your skill because you’re not practising what you set out to learn. Instead, you’re writing what the client wants, not what you like. Unless you can cope with the idea of appealing to your clients and forgetting your own interests, you might not be able to make it as a freelancer.
As you can see, switching to a freelance career isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are many considerations to keep in mind and if you go into this career head-first, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. Make sure you focus on these five considerations to help you make the right decisions before you switch over to a freelance career.