Most people have considered and dreamed about working for themselves at one point or another. Some would like to own their own business in a brick and mortar building, while others dream about having a job where they don’t have to leave their home if they so choose. A freelancing career is a great way to work for yourself and have the flexibility to work wherever you choose. While the prospects of a freelance career sound enticing, there are a few aspects of the job that you must consider before dumping your day job.
It’s important to realize that freelancing takes time and effort, just like any job does. You have to earn your money. However, there are a few other small tidbits that some fail to recognize before jumping in head first. In this article, we are going to take a look at the most common aspects of a freelancing career that could either make it for you or against you.
Contrary to popular belief, freelancers don’t have endless amounts of free time. Freelancing is a job, and like any other job, it takes time. Also, when you work on your own schedule, you have to learn to manage your time well in order to make a sufficient income and meet the needs of your clients. Freelancing career requires strong time management skills. You need to know how much work you can handle and how long you need to complete a task. It’s easy to take on too much work and end up missing deadlines and losing income.
Since every freelance contract is different, you may never know when to expect your payment on a project. It’s important to know the conditions of a contract before beginning and keeping in contact with your client when it comes time for payment. Sadly enough, there are clients out there who will not pay your contract in a timely manner, and this can put a crunch on your financial situation. Also, you have to predict your expenses and other financial aspects and do everything you can to meet those even when income is tight. You should have enough money before to start full-time freelance career because in starting, it would have unpredictable income.
Discipline and Focus
If you’re not a self-motivated individual, a career as a freelancer could present some problems for you. You have to do the work whenever you have available time. If this is your only income, you will have to focus on getting the job done and making a schedule and a plan for making sure that you get your commitments completed in a timely manner. Do whatever it takes to stay organized and focused on the end product. Freelance career requires discipline daily routine and focus.
Working on a Deadline
Individual clients may not understand that they are not your only commitment. With that said, they want their project to be your priority. Treat each project as a priority and do everything and anything to get the finished product to them on time and with high quality. If you are asked to give a general turnaround time for a project, give a reasonable estimate for the work and take into account your workload.
Increase in Taxes
One thing that we take for granted by a traditional employer is the fact that they take care of deducting our tax and other major deductions for us. When you freelance, this responsibility is yours to complete. You need to be prepared to set aside a certain amount each time you get paid so that taxes don’t take you by surprise. Also, self-employed contractors are expected to pay quarterly taxes instead of just once a year.
Success Doesn’t Happen Right Away
You have to make a name for yourself in the freelancing world. Clients aren’t going to know about you when you first start out. You may find yourself taking lower-paying jobs just to get experience and recommendations. Be aware that being a successful freelancer takes time and hard work, but once you have your name out there, getting good paying jobs will be easier.
Learning New Skills
Like any other career, the more you know, the more valuable you will be. Consider expanding your skill set and learning about new topics and trades. Do research and become an expert in your own right. The more you know, the more diverse jobs you can take on and complete successfully.
Freelancing isn’t going to be the easiest career choice. You are a free agent, and that can either be good or bad depending on the individual. Know yourself and your habits and really consider if you have the time and discipline to make a career out of freelancing.