7 Reasons To Try Freelancing

Freelancing is getting more common every year. Right now there are over 50 million people in the United States working as freelancers, and this number only continues to grow. If a decade ago most freelancers worked in web-related industries such as web design and content writing, now you can find opportunities to freelance in nearly any field, including law, finance, education, and sales.

Freelancing is no longer an occupation for recent graduates or stay-at-home parents, as more and more established professionals choose to leave the corporate setting and become self-employed freelancers.

Working in the freelance field is often associated with certain disadvantages, and while many of them are exaggerated by those who are opposed to freelancing, it’s also impossible to ignore some of the more valid concerns. For example, as a self-employed freelance worker, you will be the one responsible for a steady work flow, which also directly influences your cash flow. The lack of paid sick and maternity leave, as well as no benefits of a full-time job, are also big reasons for people to think twice before becoming freelancers. And, of course, anyone thinking of joining the freelance field, shouldn’t forget the social aspect — the feeling of isolation and solitude may be a very unwelcome surprise for anyone who has spent years working in the office.

A jump into freelancing may be terrifying for many people, which is why lots of freelancers actually combine their freelance jobs with working full-time. However, joining the self-employment field and becoming a full-time freelancer has numerous benefits, and here are 7 most important of them.

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1. Workflow

One of the biggest reasons why so many people eventually turn into freelancers is the opportunity to create your own schedule and manage your own workflow. Unlike a full-time job, where you need to work a minimum of 40 hours a week, freelancing allows you to work as much or as little as you want. Some freelancers prefer to work for a few hours every day of the week for the whole month; others prefer to do the weekly volume of work in the first few days to have the rest of the week off, and some take a week or more off work whenever they want. The only person who can manage your schedule is you!

There is also a different strategy among freelancers: to work until you make enough and then take the rest of the month off. While this strategy works perfectly if you’re not focused on making as much money as possible, we would recommend making a little extra money before taking a well-deserved rest — you never know when the drought season in your workflow can start, and when there isn’t as much work as you’d want, that little emergency fund will definitely come in handy.

2. Experience

While we tend to think about freelancing as the ideal solution for people who already have some experience in a particular industry and simply want to enjoy the benefits of working from home, the truth is that freelancing also works great for people with no job experience. You can get valuable work experience from freelancing in several ways:

  • If you’re a recent graduate with no work experience, completing minor freelance projects in your industry will help you build up your portfolio and avoid the dreaded situation of having to send out a nearly blank resume. It won’t matter for the potential employer if you had previously worked full-time or as a freelancer — the only thing that matters is whether you’ve grown as a professional during that time.
  • If you plan to work in an industry that requires a lot of connections, one of the most effective ways to build them is by becoming a freelancer. During your time as a freelance worker, you will meet so many industry professionals and establish so many work relationships that you’ll become the dream candidate of every HR manager.
  • If you already have several years of experience in one industry but want to change the field, making the switch may not be easy. However, you can significantly increase your chances of landing the coveted full-time position in the future if you accumulate at least some freelancing experience in the target field. Who knows, maybe you’ll love being a freelancer so much that you won’t even return to working full time!
3. Work-life balance

In the past few years freelancing is becoming more and more popular among married people with children. The reason for that is simple: when you have a family to come home to, you become less and less motivated to spend 10+ hours in the workplace and a minimum of 1 hour a day on commute. If you value the time you spend at home, consider going freelance: the pay may not be as high as you’d hope, especially during the first few months, but the improved work-life balance is definitely worth it.

Another category of people who appreciate the opportunity to work as freelancers are parents. In case you’re not ready to return to the workplace or have completely changed your priorities and now want to become a stay-at-home parent, there is nothing keeping you from developing a career in freelance. Of course, managing family expectations and work commitments when working from home is a big challenge of its own, but there is nothing impossible. Plus, being a parent for several years gives you fantastic time management and self-motivational skills, which will positively influence your freelance work efficiency.

4. Entrepreneurship

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that each of us has considered to start their own business at least once in their life. For most, this thought remains nothing more than an idea, but some actually go on and launch their businesses. However, in most instances, financial security is out of question for the first few months or even years, despite what you may have been told in the past by those few lucky businessmen who managed to make a living shortly after their business went live.

Maintaining a full-time job when you’re trying to make your business prosper is nearly impossible, and if you do try to juggle your full-time work commitments with a business, both will suffer. The solution here is to become a freelancer, at least for the duration of the period when your business is still in its establishment phase. By being able to regulate your own workflow and working odd hours, you will maintain a level of income that will help you enjoy the stability and confidence of being employed. Your business will benefit as well, since nothing will stand between you and the business if you manage your time right.

5. Location

One of the biggest reasons why so many people are choosing freelance work is that you are absolutely free to work from any location in the world — all you need is your work device and a steady internet connection. If you’ve ever worked in an office and know too well what it’s like to sit at the same desk 8+ hours of day, 5 days a week, 20+ days every month, you’ll love this opportunity. Even if you’re absolutely in love with your office and have all the amenities an office worker can dream of, it still doesn’t negate the fact that it’s the same office setting you’re seeing for years.

With a freelance job, you can not only work from home, but also choose the most convenient place for working right now. Thousands of freelancers go to their favourite coffee shops, parks, or libraries to work. Plus, you must have heard about freelancers who travel to other cities or countries, living there for weeks or even months, and comfortably working from their new location. Spend chilly winters on a divine tropical island and summers in a breezy forest cabin – as long as you stay online, you can be as productive as you’d be in an office.

6. Lifestyle

For many people, a huge appeal of working as a freelancer is a chance to avoid the pressure of maintaining a certain lifestyle of an office worker, which can be damaging for the budget and uncomfortable for some personality types. Let’s start with commute, which is the absolute least favourite part of working in an office for millions of professionals. If you travel by car, you will get there faster, but gas and maintenance expenses will eat up a lot of your monthly budget. In case you prefer public transportation, get ready to spend a long time waiting for the right train or bus and then spending even more time to get to your destination.

Next is the food. While some thrifty workers prefer to take lunches from home, it’s not the best choice for everyone: you’ll need to spend extra time preparing the lunch at home and will often feel left out when your coworkers go out to eat on their lunch break. Going out for lunch, on the other hand, means additional expenses you may not be ready for.

Finally, every office job requires you to maintain some sort of an appearance. Not all office workers are required to wear expensive suits and do their hair professionally every morning, but even if the dress code rules at your workplace are more relaxed than that, you’ll still need to invest plenty of time and money into your appearance.

The great news is that none of those problems exist when you work from home. Traveling from the bedroom to the study or wherever you prefer to work doesn’t take longer than a couple of minutes; you can cut your food expenses by eating the food that is already in your house; and you don’t have to dress nice and do your hair before beginning to work unless you really want to!

7. Confidence

One of the most commonly named drawbacks of freelancing is the lack of stability. It’s true that freelancers are on their own when it comes to securing a sufficient workflow, which may not be the easiest thing, considering the growing competition among freelance workers. However, office jobs are also far from permanent. Every week we hear about companies going out of business, merging with other companies, or changing their business directions. Each of those moves results in thousands of people losing their jobs.

From this point of view, freelancing actually gives you more stability than a full-time office job. When you’re on your own, there is nothing stopping you from finding another project to work on, and even if you appear to be out of work, new opportunities are much easier to find when you’re a freelancer, since you’re simply more flexible.

Financial confidence and stability is another big part of the appeal of being a freelancer. When you work for a company, you may be making some money, but, ultimately, you’re working in favor of some other guy’s bank account. When working freelance, the only bank account you care about is your own. With only you and your family benefiting from all the hard work you do, you’re motivated to work better!

Conclusion

Nowadays freelancers have it easier than those who ventured into the freelance industry a decade or more ago. With more and more people choosing the freelance path, the numerous tools and resources to simplify the life as a freelancer, and the many benefits of working from home, deciding to go freelance may be the best career decision you ever make!

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