Freelancing – I can do it, you can do it, we all can do it. But is it the job for you?
In the modern world, freelancing has become the equivalent of having a part time job at the local coffee shop, especially for young students. As a freelancer in the digital sphere, students can earn a side income without leaving the comfort of their home.
Many have already begun to establish great careers in their chosen field as a freelancer. One only has to go to Instagram to see how many travel influencers fund their lives through freelance work.
But the truth of the matter is that freelancing is not for everyone. There are pros and cons to this style of career, and these 10 honest truths are important for you to confront before you take up a freelancing gig, or consider a career as a freelancer.
1. You Cut Down A Lot of BS
One of the major advantages of freelancing that attracts people is that it cuts down a lot of the frills that come with the normal jobs. These can include anything from the commuting time and effort to the forced interactions and parties with colleagues.
For those who just want to sit down and get their work done, freelancing is a great opportunity. And with virtually all types of jobs going digital, there are tremendous opportunities for virtually every skillset.
2. You Lose Out On Benefits Too
While nobody would miss being stuck hours in a traffic jam, you might miss out on the good and necessary stuff, such as insurance and employment protection. Many companies specifically seek out freelancers for certain jobs that they know their employees will reject due to sensitivity, time or ethical issues.
They expect freelancing individuals to take up the gig no matter what. Unfortunately, the surplus presence of freelancers means that if you say no, they can simply turn to somebody else.
3. It Is More Secure Than You’d Think
Many argue that the freelancers have lesser job security as compared to the regularly employed people, but that isn’t really true anymore. Once you establish yourself in the scene, freelancing can be very secure too.
Instead of losing your job – and thus all your benefits and income in one go – you are likely to lose only one or two clients every few months. Freelancing can thus help you expand your source of income, which might be variable, but assured.
4. Always On Lookout
The one area freelancers can never afford to take an off is in their search for new clients. Even when you are booked to the brim, freelancing individuals need to painstakingly create and maintain networks of potential clients and customers. This is because there may be month(s) when there are simply no projects for you.
To make sure the dry spell doesn’t go on and on, you need to be the first person clients think of when they need something.
5. Life Can Come First
Once you are settled in the freelancing lifestyle, or have enough money saved to take that dream vacation, you can simply finish up existing projects, take some time off, and come back to work again without anybody complaining about it.
As a freelancer, you don’t owe accountability to anybody when you are not actively working, and taking leaves is easy. As a result, many prefer freelancing careers when they want to prioritize other things in life, such as family, health, or travelling.
6. Not Your Own Boss
Perhaps the most damaging myth about freelancing is the illusion of control. Many enter the field believing that they would dictate the terms and projects, but the clients hold the cash – and thus the cards. You have to deliver what they expect and by when they expect it, or end up losing out on the whole project.
And even when you might have better ideas, the clients may want to take up a direction and there is nothing you can do about it. This is especially more difficult for people who are just starting out in the field.
7. Expand Your Horizons
Freelancing can be a great way to explore something as a career prospect while you are still studying or working in another field. This is especially true for areas such as writing, graphic designing, SEO, and yes, even being an influencer.
Freelancing allows you to see what the inside of the industry is like, thus enabling you to make more informed decisions about your career choices.
8. You Need To Invest
Being a freelancer costs money – yes, you heard that right! In order to stand apart from the competition and deliver what the client needs, freelancers need to have good equipment, a website, electronics, and specific devices such as graphic pads and cameras.
You need good chairs and tables to protect your health, business formal clothes for the occasional in-person meetings, and hiring the services of agents such as accountants and lawyers to keep yourself protected. It all adds up.
9. Being Present Is Easy Today
Just a few years back, building a presence as a freelancer was not easy. Today, there are countless networks that you can join for guidance, motivation, and yes, clients. These platforms can also help regulate client-freelancer relationship, so that the exploitation traditionally associated with the freelancing model is reduced.
Creating active presence on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn can also go a long way.
10. Don’t Like It? Still Take It
As a freelancer, you might be engaged in the work you love best, but that doesn’t mean that the topics and projects you absolutely hate will never come your way. Moreover, you might not have a choice in rejecting them.
If you are a photographer who hates taking portraits, you would still have to take it up, or risk losing your client, repute, and money. Thus, freelancing is not always a bed of roses, even when you do what you love.
Do you think that freelancing can be a career for individuals? What negatives and positives of freelancing would you say exist? Let us know in the comments below!