How to know when to go freelance and important things to consider first

You’ve probably heard this already; freelancers are predicted to prevail the U.S. workforce by 2027. That’s a bold claim. But it’s also very realistic, considering the fact that more people are entering the freelancing industry by the day.

The freelance movement is huge and it’s only going to get bigger.

Have you ever considered going freelance? It sure is an attractive opportunity if you’re after greater flexibility and work/life balance.

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However, there are also many myths related to freelancing. The most common misconception from those with no freelance experience is that they think it’s less demanding than a typical office job. They try freelancing with the intention to make easy money and are surprised to see it doesn’t happen that way.

First of all, you have to understand that not every career can be transferred to freelancing. Writing, accounting, photography, graphic design, programming, marketing… these are all good to go.

If you have skills that are requested on the freelance market, then you should definitely consider entering the industry. But at the same time, you have to understand that the opportunities don’t come without challenges.             

How you know it’s time to go freelance

This is not an easy decision to make, but are you ready for the signs? There are a few indicators that tell you it’s time to try!

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So you’ve had this job for a while. You made some progress up the career ladder. Can you see yourself doing the same thing ten years from now?

If the image of you doing the same job in future seems rather repelling, maybe it’s time for a change.

Now, imagine yourself being committed to a career in freelancing. Does that seem more interesting than the future you imagine if the starting point is your current position? It’s a sign!

You spend too much time on trivial tasks at your current job

With time, your job turned into a routine and you feel like the tasks are trivial. You can easily predict how your day is going to develop.

If you don’t see how that can be changed if you stay on the same position, you should definitely think about a change. Freelancing can offer you a way out of the routine.

You feel excited to dance to your own whistle

Maybe you dream about being your own boss, but you don’t have a cool idea for a business. Maybe you don’t have enough money to start it and you don’t want to risk going in debt.  

Well, freelancing is just like your own business. You’ll have clients, but they won’t act like bosses. The connection between good clients and good freelancers is based on mutual respect, understanding, and collaboration.

You know your own price as a professional

The competition in the world of freelancers is tough. You’ll see plenty of people dropping prices because they live in countries with lower living costs  and they can afford to work for less. That creates an unfavorable situation for the rest.

It’s no wonder why so many freelancers feel like dropping the price is the only thing they can do if they wanted to get noticed.

No. You have to know your own value, and you need to set the price you deserve. If you deliver great work, you should know what your fair price is and you shouldn’t sell yourself short.

You’re thinking of your own business but you’d like a trial before going all in

Freelancing is just like having your own business. You’ll be responsible of time management. You’ll search for clients, and you’ll have to organize your time well enough to meet the deadlines.

You’ll have to manage your own finances too. Did we mention that you’ll have to pay taxes?

If you’d like an experience that’s close to running a small business, you should definitely make an attempt at freelancing.

You have enough experience and skills for freelancing

This is a big one. Do you have what it takes?

  • First, you need to think about practical skills. Writing, graphic design, programming, marketing, photography… are you advanced in any of these skills? We’re talking about serious knowledge and practice.
  • Do you have good time management skills? Procrastination is a freelancer’s greatest enemy. You better know how to stay resilient to distractions and your desire to put off work for later.
  • Can you work alone? If you’re good with spending hours of your day completely alone, then you’ll be okay with this type of career. Otherwise, freelancing may lead to loneliness and depression.

You have enough savings to keep you going for a while

What if you don’t start making a lot of money right from the start? What if it takes a while to find a good client? You need enough savings to go through the dry period before you  land a good gig.

If you don’t have these savings, you’ll be tempted to accept anything just for the money. Such decisions don’t usually end well.

Aspects to consider before you start freelancing

You recognized the signs? Wait; maybe you’re not ready just yet. There are few things you must consider before you can start such a career:

You have to learn to market yourself

You need to be very articulate about your skills as a freelancer. Proper personal branding is a must, and it isn’t something that can happen overnight.

You should be aware of the legal aspects of your job

Freelancing is just like being employed, but you have to take care of the legal details by yourself. You’ll deal with work contracts, taxes, insurance, and trade descriptions.

Are you aware to handle that aspect of being your own boss?

You need to juggle multiple roles

You won’t be just a freelancer who does their job and carries onto the next project. Being a freelancer means juggling multiple roles, such as accounting, IT troubleshooting, customer care, marketing… the list goes on and on.

It’s a lot of work and if you don’t organize it properly, you’ll end up being overwhelmed.

There will be downtime periods

There will be great days in freelancing! You’ll be getting awesome tasks and you’ll feel thrilled to do your work, but there will be dry periods too.

Sometimes the clients you collaborate with won’t have any tasks for you. Sometimes you won’t be able to find a good ad or you won’t beat the competition.

There will be days without work. There will be days with boring work. It’s all part of freelancing and you should be prepared for it!

It’s all part of freelancing!

Just like any other job, freelancing comes with its pros and cons. You’ll be ready to make an attempt only if you see both sides of the coin. Of course, you should also have what it takes! So are you ready? Is it time yet?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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About Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a marketing consultant and a content strategist at AU Best Essays. She is content-oriented and knows how to put words into action. She feels passionate about travelling and inspired by her morning yoga. Get in touch on Twitter.  

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