Why become a Freelancer?
There are many reasons to become a Freelancer; here are some of the best!
As you go through this life, you will face many choices when it comes to jobs and careers. Many people are choosing to become a Freelancer and not accept traditional employment. This trend has grown over the past several years. Work sites such as Elance.com, Odesk.com, and Guru.com have furthered this trend. Though there are benefits and drawbacks to both choices, here are the top reasons to become a Freelancer!
The World is Your Office
Should you choose to step into the wide-open world of Freelancing, you will be able to break away from the mundane corporate office and step out into the open space! The freedom of the world lies before you as a Freelancer. Any place you choose to sit with your laptop and a Wi-Fi connection is your office. If you are running around doing errands, you can stop to respond to emails at most coffee shops while enjoying a relaxing latte. If you are travelling, many hotels offer a Wi-Fi connection for busy professionals. The constant ability to change scenery is sure to inspire creativity! A confining office is just how some people like it. If you enjoy the freedom of working anywhere, Freelancing could be an option.
When you consider becoming a Freelancer, you need to know that you should have a good reserve of cash at the beginning of your venture. This is very important as it takes some time to start earning what you expect as a Freelancer. Newcomers leaving a regular job to pursue a freelance career will take about 6-12 months to learn the skills and gain the experience necessary to command a higher amount of pay per project. Depending on the experience and knowledge you already have, it is possible to start negotiating at a slightly higher pay rate. If you are like the norm, however, you will take on many jobs below your pay expectations and skill level to build your portfolio for better jobs down the road. Make sure you have at least 6 months of bill money in savings to supplement the lower rate of pay as a beginning Freelancer, according to most experts. Once you build a network of clients, you will learn how your pay flows. This will lead to stability, but it will take a while to reach the level of stability you once had with a regular 9-to-5 job. Some never will!
More Family Time
Many people think, “I’m going to be a Freelancer; working from home, I will be with my family all the time!” This is true and not at the same time. While you will be home as a Freelancer, you will need to set time and space to devote specifically to work. In the beginning, you will spend most days, and nights, devoting time to building client relationships. Honestly, you will likely spend up to 16 hours a day “working” for the first few months. This depends on you completely. Some can do it spending less time working, but taking longer to build the relationships with clients. You will work on many projects just to build a portfolio as a Freelancer. Remember, this is the most important thing because it will be your résumé for future work. You will also be able to use some clients as references. Once you have a reliable set of clients and begin earning the income you want, you can take a step back, work less, and focus more on family time. Freelancing is a rewarding way of life, but it takes time to become what you want it to be. There are many advantages to being able to set your own hours, just remember this will take time.
Only Answer to Yourself and Your Clients
Being a Freelancer means being your own boss. You only need to answer to yourself and your clients. While your clients are like a boss, they are more like a business partner in a way. They will have many expectations that you will need to meet to receive payment. You are providing a service to these people. You will work with them to give them the exact results they desire, whatever the project may be. Since you are your own boss, you choose who to work for and whom to avoid. This is what makes it more like having a business partner than a boss. You will have repeat clients if your work is satisfactory. You will get to associate with many people from just as many industries. It will be a time to grow and learn. The learning and growing will never stop because there will always be new experiences and new clients just waiting to collaborate on a project! Remember that you will have to answer to your clients if you choose to slack and continually miss deadlines. This is not good practice as a Freelancer. You will lose clients, money and opportunities if you choose to work in this way. Your reputation is on the line with every client on every project. Setting your own schedule also means planning sick and vacation days. Illness is something that you cannot plan. If you do become ill, the good news is you can work during the times of day that you feel better without leaving your bed. If you are not working on a project at the time, you can announce to your clients that you need to take some time off before working on new projects so they can plan to find someone else while you are out of commission.
The decision to become a Freelancer is not an easy one. There are many considerations to think about when choosing this lifestyle. If you choose to become a Freelancer, let this article be part of your guide and learn from others and me who found out the hard way all the joy and hardship that comes with the change!
©2012 Beverly Sadler