Freelancers seem to have a dream job. They do not report on duty, are free of demanding bosses and can go to work as and when they like. The option of being able to control your work environment and work projects is an enviable one. You can choose a comfortable work environment and best aspect is that if you are a successful freelancer, the money is really good! Well, before you decide to take a plunge into the freelancing world, you must consider the fact that freelancing is not for everyone. While some freelancers are ecstatic about being their own boss, some are looking at going back to their 9-5 jobs.Understanding freelancing as a job is very important because it has a lot to do with your fame once you are popular as a freelancer.An office space is a major motivational factor for some people; they want to work with people, to be able to talk to a colleague and to get inspired by looking at the competition around. So if you decide to go for a freelance job, you must try understanding freelancing as a job. Here are a few factors you must consider before taking the plunge.
Freelancing can be a lonely option. You might have previously worked with a group of people who are a part of the hustle and bustle of an office environment. It is possible that you loved the chaotic environment of your crowded office and were able to do some great work in your office space. Remember, as a freelancer, you will work alone. Your kids will be in school and your spouse might be at work. Your work will be exclusive and you will be doing things on your own. The only time you actually interact with your clients will be when you go for sale pitches. These factors could affect your enthusiasm and your mood. If you are the kind of person who enjoys working in a regular office environment, you must reconsider your decision to work as a freelancer. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons. Money cannot be the only factor to consider.
Freelancing means that you are responsible for your work more than ever. You are the one accountable for your work performance. There is no one above you monitoring your performance or maintaining your work records. You set your own targets and will have to work towards achieving these targets on your own. You will have to realize that if you are not personally accountable, this might reflect in the quality of your work. You might be great at what you do but at the end of the day it comes down to self-discipline and quality control.
In the initial freelancing days you might be ready to give it all. You will be working late nights and will be ready to give all your hours to work. Eventually, the excitement frays down and you will realize that rest is also important. You might fall into the trap of working late at night and waking up late. Please avoid this trap. You will need to prioritize your work. Make sure that you know what your most productive work hours are and set your work timings accordingly. Once set, stick to these timings and make a routine for yourself. You must arrange your household chores and errands around this time. Make sure you keep some time out for breaks since it is impossible to work to your full capability, continuously.
Remember that in the world of freelancing there are clients who control your work projects as well as payments. You might have little or no experience in dealing with clients as an office goer. Dealing with clients in this case might be slightly challenging. When interacting with clients you need to be polite, straightforward and effective in your communications with them. You just can’t afford to be rude even if the client seems to be overly demanding. A lot of clients stick with easy-going and dedicated freelancers who deliver as promised. Make sure you leave a favorable impression on the client without compromising on your own work values.
When you eye a freelancing career do you ever think that this career is devoid of a monthly salary, yearly increment, medical insurance and paid leave? You will be earning exactly what your charge your client without any additional perks. Keeping all this in mind, you will need to charge an appropriate rate for your services. Make sure that you are charging for the product delivered as a whole and not only for the hours that you have put in.The process of quoting an appropriate rate will involve a negotiation process. You must learn negotiation skills. Have a set rate beyond which you do not agree to go down. It is not wrong to have competitive rates as long as you aptly raise your charge rates according to your skill set. Failure to negotiate rates could result in getting underpaid for your efforts. This can lead to dissatisfaction and eventually frustration.
In the freelancing world, it is impossible to get shielded from a clients’ rejection or harsh feedback. This may be a possibility in an office environment; however you will not have a colleague or boss covering for you when you are freelancing.Feedback, whether positive or negative, will be given to you directly and it is up to you to deal with it. You must keep your emotions in check. Even rejection must be dealt with in a calm and composed manner. It is entirely up to you to not let a situation get the better of you.
To be a successful freelancer, you will need to stay ahead in the game. This means that you will have to keep a constant check on what’s hot and what’s not. Keep an eye out for the trends that directly affect your work. If a new trend seems to be helpful for your personal development, go ahead and incorporate it in your work.Trending will keep on shifting and there will be various trends that emerge in this ever developing world. Make sure you are intelligent enough to incorporate new trends into your work.
Before taking a plunge into the freelancing world, make sure to look for family support. Things can get pretty intense when you start freelancing. You might not have time for family and friends in the beginning. Meeting client expectations and deadlines could be a preoccupation. Meetings with new clients and business presentations could take up most of your time. In this stressful situation you need supportive family and friends.Friends can be of help to you emotionally and can also recommend your services to potential clients. Make sure you take enough time out of your work to be with your friends and family. After all they might just be the reason you chose freelancing in the first place!
Before you go ahead a quit your job, you can ‘try’ freelancing on the side. It can help you judge the situation and can also help you find potential clients.Also, have money saved up for at least six months ahead. This will help you do your best without financial insecurity. If you do decide to become a freelancer make sure that money does not stand in the way of achieving your dreams. We wish you good luck.