Freelancing seems to be the dream job for many people, particularly for Millenials and younger generations. It is understandable in a way as who does not want to be able to work from anywhere in the world and whenever they want. Flexibility is something that the majority of workplaces do not allow. We have come a great way due to employers finding themselves forced to switch to remote work in 2020, however, many addendums to work contracts still include many restrictive clauses which do not really provide the freedom working for oneself would.
While freelancing can sound like a dream come true, there are many factors that you need to consider. First of all, you need to determine whether you are ready because if you are not, a dream can quickly turn into a nightmare and we would not want that.
What’s more, there are many freelancers who leave their jobs for the wrong reasons. Some people might not be comfortable with the risk while others don’t want to work for someone else anymore. It is important to know if you’re ready before making the big leap and ending up in a really difficult position. Here are 6 you should consider before making the life-altering decision.
Have you checked your savings account lately?
The truth is there are many hidden costs associated with freelancing itself so it is better if you have plenty of savings to fall back on. It could take several months before you find your feet and start earning enough to compensate for your expenses. Ensure that you have sufficient savings before quitting your job to be able to see it through. Not only that, but you need to cover for personal expenses and whatnot as well.
Have you saved enough money?
If you are considering freelancing make sure that you have enough savings to cover for 6 months (at least) in case nothing comes up within this period. This way you can take your time finding the right clients for yourself, learning the ropes and creating a steady income.
Have you taken all your benefits into consideration?
There are many downsides to full time employement, however, there are also many hidden benefits that people tend to not think about. When working for someone else one of the most difficult things to leave behind is all the benefits. In their pursuit of a freelance career people often tend to forget that leaving behind benefits such as health insurance is not something you should take lightly.
While it is certainly true that people are more careful about how they spend their money when freelancing, the reality is there those benefits you probably started to take for granted at some point during your full time employment are costly. Just think about it. You may have to pay for your own health insurance, which can be expensive and it will mean that if you fall sick there’s no one else to help cover the costs. There are of course other benefits which you will loose and will have to cover the expenses from them yousefl if you wish to retain them.
Do you have a fail-safe plan if your income dries up?
Many freelancers are completely comfortable with this arrangement as long as their income is on point. However, there are many people who end up struggling when things die down a bit as they were not careful to cover themselves in such situations.
This can be pretty dangerous as many people end up starting to dip into their savings and borrowing money. They might even resort to selling personal possessions to make ends meet. Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing if you are still able to make your rent payments, but it is important that you have a plan in place if things go south.
Of course, returning to full time employment can be an option, however finding a new job in this competitive market is never easy and could take time, more time than what you have at your disposal. Furtjemrore, picking up where you left off at your previous company or a new one can provide to be tricky. Of course, this is not the case for everyone, but it can happen and it is something you should consider and carefully account for if you decide to go the freelancer route.
Are you confident about doing everything yourself?
Freelancing is all about self-reliance. If you are looking to become a freelancer you should be confident about being able to do things on your own. After all, there will not always be someone around to fix your mistakes or help you out in getting things done, so it does pay to have some relevant experience under your belt.
Of course, this does not mean that you should be a master of everything at all times or that you should know how to do every single task out there, but having a basic understanding and experience of what is needed will help considerably. You can also learn more as you go along, but having the skills and confidence to see a project through is essential.
Can you work without supervision?
Most people who decide to go the freelance route do so because they want a level of flexibility that is often not possible in a traditional office environment. If this is what you are looking for you should feel comfortable working on your own with little significant oversight from anyone else. Of course, there will be times when you will have to report back to your client, but these moments should be few and far between if you want to make this work.
It also pays to understand that the client usually dictates how things are done without necessarily providing guidance on what tasks need doing. This can be tough for some people who might not know where to start. Of course, you can ask questions and look for guidance, but it is essential that you have the skills to work on your own without constant supervision.
Are you able to manage your time well?
One of the biggest challenges for freelancers is managing their time properly. Since there are no longer set hours you must be able to keep track of how long something takes and plan accordingly before moving on to new jobs or projects. You also need to know when it’s time to take a break and how to deal with personal matters which might affect your productivity.
Time management skills can be learned, but if you are not confident or able to manage your time well it might be best for you to continue working in a traditional office environment where there is some sort of structure to follow. Of course, this depends on the company’s culture and other factors, but there are usually ground rules to follow without having to think too much about it.
As always, we have not covered every single thing that you should consider, but do thinkof this article as a starting point. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding if you’re ready to go freelance and this article covered only the tip of the iceberg. Howveer, if you are unable to provide a proper response to these questions maybe freelancing is something you should not pursue, at least for now. Things can always chnage and there is no limit as to when you should break free and go out on your own. When that moment does come, just make sure you are truly ready to take on the world and make the most of the experience.
So, are you ready to go freelance?
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