Have you been thinking about your career lately? Maybe your job was impacted by the pandemic and you are looking at others options and ways to make a living? Perhaps you simply want to do something meaningful with your life and your current role doesn't sit well with you? So many people these days don't stick with a standard job. Lots of people are looking for a new way of working. Could the freelance life work for you? Let's look at how to start freelancing and all the benefits that come with it.
There is so much flexibility when you start freelancing. You don't have to work designated hours. If you are more of a night owl than an early bird, why not stay in bed longer and start work later? The nine to five doesn't exist when you are freelancing. You might have a family you want to spend more time with. Maybe you want to take the kids to school and pick them up at the end of the day? You can select the hours that you work, be it early mornings or late night, maybe even four day weeks. Finding a work life balance that works for you is a huge plus point when you start freelancing.
No More Commuting
How many times have you added up the amount of time you spend getting to and coming home from work? If there is two hours a day, that's ten hours a week. That's 40 hours a month. 520 hours a year! That's over 20 days a year you spend commuting. What could you do with that extra time? Imagine being able to put that time into a personal project, into a hobby, into your health? It's also no money on train fares of car parking. Commuting is necessary for many jobs but if you start freelancing from home, your commute it literally walking from the bedroom to your desk, via the kitchen for a cup of coffee!
Invest In Yourself
When you start freelancing, every investment you make is an investment in yourself. This could be a new laptop, or a training course. You can focus on what you want to do, how you want to learn, the skills you desire and where you want to be. Every investment in your skillset s something you can offer directly to your clients and customers. It might be an investment or time, effort or money, but you'll be building the relevancy of your business as you progress.
Be Your Own Boss
Lots of us want to be our own bosses. When you start freelancing you become your own boss. You choose when and where to work. There is no clocking in or asking if you can take the day off. There are many employees who often feel shackled by their bosses. Bosses often say no to ideas of their employees or take the credit for themselves. Becoming your own boss can be liberating. You get freedom to make choices and stick by your decision. You get to see the actual impact of the work you put in. Start freelancing and you can boost your confidence and flourish.
Choose Your Clients
When you work for a business, you don't get really any choice about the work you are doing. The clients your company are working with might not sit right with you. They could have values you don't agree on or be damaging the environment with their work. When you work for yourself you can choose your clients. This could be from something as simple as them coming across like idiots in meetings, to being true to your morals. When you choose your clients, you can work with people you actually enjoy working with. Shared values, interesting work, projects which are making a real difference.
Of Course, There Are Cons
Where there are pros, there are always cons. Whilst you might thrive when stepping into the freelancing world, you also need to be aware of some negatives.
When you start freelancing, you have to do more than just your job. If you were in a role within a corporation, you'd do your job and then go home, safe in the knowledge that the accounts department would be taking care of invoices and the tech team will fix broken printers. Working for yourself means that you have to do all those things. You have to chase invoices, pay the bills, chase invoices again and even clean. There are no cleaners when you freelance. One minute you'll be emailing work to clients, the next you'll be vacuuming the office carpet. You're in charge of your admin.
One of the big downfalls of freelancing is the irregular income. We've already mentioned chasing invoices, this can happen a lot. Companies often see you as small fry and forget to pay you. You'll find yourself chasing invoices more than sending them. Some freelancers take on random projects which, once done, they move onto another one. It can be a struggle to find freelance jobs. If you're able to get a handful of regular clients offering monthly work, you're more likely t be able to stay on top of your bills and know where your next payment is coming from.
When you start freelancing you might begin to feel lonely. Whilst there are great online communities to connect with, loneliness can be a real thing for freelancers. When you work from home and don't go out much, it can be hard. Find ways to combat that loneliness. It could be working for a coffee shop once a week, or scheduling calls with fellow freelancers. There are also work spaces where you can hire a desk once a week to be around other business owners.
Now that you know the positives of the freelancing life, as well a couple of cons, you need to figure out if it's for you or not. When you start freelancing it's a lifestyle which is hard to revert back from. The flexibility of your work life when you start freelancing is such a huge plus point, however it still takes a lot of effort to be your own boss. Sometimes the lack of a fixed income might not work for your current situation. Weigh up those pros and cons and see where you end up with your decision making. If you do start freelancing, we wish you the very best of luck with it all. Go smash it!