Is Freelancing Right for You?
Working a nine-to-five or even part-time job can get monotonous. Thankfully, today, they’re not the only employment options. Freelancers can make a livable wage while gaining coveted job flexibility.
Let’s discuss if freelancing is right for you.
What is a Freelancer, Anyway?
Freelancers are generally independent contractors who perform a variety of services like writing, designing, and marketing for clientele. Legally speaking, it can get complicated when trying to differentiate between contractors and employees; however, we won’t get into that here.
Freelancers set their own hours and rates. Unlike traditional employees, they do not get benefits, and they receive a 1099 rather than a W2 from clients. That means employers do not take taxes out of freelancers’ paychecks, making the independent contractors liable for keeping track of income.
Signs You May Prefer Freelancing Over Full-Time Employment
You may experience these problems if you aren’t cut out for a nine-to-five job:
- Your cubicle or desk feels like a cage. When you grow restless chained to one spot, it can be hard getting through an eight-hour workday.
- Schedules feel constricting. While some workers enjoy stability and predictability, set hours may be torture for spontaneous souls.
- You can’t stand authority. If you hate others telling you what to do, you’ll be miserable with supervisors overseeing your actions.
- You hate doing the same thing all the time. Even if you enjoy the work you do a nine-to-five job, it can get boring when you perform the same responsibilities daily. Creative people, especially, need new challenges and tasks to feel satisfied.
- You can’t see yourself growing at a full-time gig. Sometimes it’s hard to get ahead and reach your full potential at a nine-to-five job. If you feel your talent is not recognized, it may be time to take control and ensure you’re living up to your abilities.
Freelancing alleviates these issues by offering flexibility. You can work when you want, choose your break times, and take on a wide variety of projects. As long as you find enough clients, freelancing is both satisfying and rewarding.
How Do You Start A Freelance Career?
Ideally, you should have some experience before freelancing. Resumes and portfolios are still important; clients want to know they’re hiring someone trustworthy and capable. But if you don’t have any relevant experience in the field you want to freelance within, don’t worry. Freelancers like writer Elna Cain started out with almost no experience in their niche and still landed gigs.
Here are four tips for landing freelance jobs:
- Prepare a portfolio. Whether you do photography, graphic design, writing, or marketing, you need professional samples of your work. Create pieces your proud of and compile them. If you offer services like financial assistance or marketing, have testimonials and case studies on hand proving your solutions work.
- Create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn teems with freelance writing jobs, and the site offers tools for portfolio and resume creation. Check out my post “The Importance of LinkedIn” for advice on creating a profile.
- Find job boards. Job boards like Toptal and Remote.co offer high-quality gigs. But a word of advice: job boards are competitive, and they’re not all reputable. Do your research before choosing one and make sure they offer positions in your field.
- Do some cold pitching. If you see an ad for a position or feel like you can offer a specific company a valuable service, send out at an email detailing why you’re right for the job. You should attach your LinkedIn profile and portfolio as evidence of expertise.
Final Thoughts About Freelancing
Freelancing can be fun and flexible, but it’s not right for everyone. To make a living, you need to be dedicated. That may mean hours of cold pitching and applying to establish a client base. As a freelancer, I caution you to think hard before you choose this path.
If you need help creating a compelling resume or LinkedIn profile, book a call with career expert Robert Braathe today!