Freelancing gives you the ability to work on your own time, at your own speed. You aren’t expected to take orders from a higher authority, as here, you are your own boss. According to It’s my Business, in 2013, there were about 10.3 million independent contractors in US, a number which has only grown with time.
With freelance, you can work extra hours and can take a break whenever required. Family gets precedence as you get to spend maximum time with them, as opposed to a corporate job which is riddled with commuting issues, long meetings, and strenuous travel. Freelancers are also privileged enough to avoid a depressing workplace, demoralising company policies, inept managers, office politics, and annoying colleagues. Plus, you get to wear anything you want!
In short, freelancing is challenging, empowering, and encouraging. However, it’s far from being perfect. Working from home is not just about lounging on the beach or drinking while working, but also loneliness,cash flow issues, and perpetual fear of receiving assignments. In conclusion, working freelance is not everybody’s cup of tea. It requires grit, determination, and sheer motivation.
Read on to understand whether freelancing is the best job for you:
1. Promoting your own self
As a freelancer you will have to market and promote yourself. Business can flow in from any avenue; hence, you will have to publicise your intent in front of family, friends, neighbours, or even an occasional stranger on the bus. Every individual is not comfortable with this practise. Introverts would find it exceptionally hard to announce their propaganda in front of random people. Becoming an established freelancer takes time and a lot of hustle. Tread carefully as this line of work is no walk in the park.
2. The occasional “freak outs”
Panic attacks are highly common when working freelance. There will come a time when you might find yourself hard-pressed for work. Irrespective of the industry, every freelancer hits a dry patch with no work coming through the door. This is where you need to keep your bearings in place and understand that working from home is a sinusoidal curve. Up’s and down’s are a part of the job profile. What you need to do is observe the trends and effectively prepare yourself for any droughts in the foreseeable future. Have patience, success takes time.
3. The solitude
Working from home can get very lonesome, emotionally. Physically you can listen to music while working, or chat with your friend’s side-by-side. But in your mind you need to understand that freelance work is your own personal investment. No other individual, be it your family, friend, or spouse, is going to be as interested in your field of work as yourself. They will support you and hear you out, but they aren’t living it like you are. Furthermore, independent contractors do not receive the normal kinds of recognition like pay raises, bonuses, promotions, or official felicitations. Here too, you will have to celebrate a success, all by yourself.
4. Taking responsibility
As a freelancer you are the only one who is accountable for a failure or a success. You have no boss so you are free to choose any assignment and deliver the same according to your convenience. The only downside to this practise is the lack of motivation. Without a higher authority breathing down your back, it becomes quite difficult to stay sincere and focused. This is where you need to construct your own support network by interacting with editors and writers online. It is hard work, but what isn’t?
5. All that downtime
With freelance work you will have a lot of free time at your disposal. Every meeting, every assignment will be scheduled by you. There are no presentations or reports to be given. Hence, there will come a time where you will find yourself devoid of work for weeks on end. Many individuals find this exciting as it gives them breathing space to accomplish additional tasks and activities. Others succumb to the stress of all the downtime. They are afraid for their employment status, every single day.
Freelancing is not easy. It includes bookkeeping, tax maintenance, business promotion activities, marketing, etc. apart from the main job. If you like to learn new skills and run every aspect of your business, freelancing is tailor-made for you. Treat this job profile as a business to get the most out of it. You are its CEO and are responsible for everything related to it.
There are positives, and there are negatives. By the end of the day it is your capability and interest, which will propel you to engage in this line of work. Getting assignments initially is not that big a challenge as there arenumerous online portals which offer lucrative freelancing jobs. So make up your mind, subscribe to job alerts, start working and be proud of being a freelancer.