Are You Ready To Become A Freelancer?
The lure of becoming a freelancer is truly enticing, especially if you’re the type who doesn’t like being confined to the work desk or getting into the thick of office politics. While freelancing has its obvious perks—having the freedom to manage your own time, ability to grow your income, and relieving yourself of the stress of commuting—the freelancer’s lifestyle also has its unique challenges.
Here are some tips to consider before transitioning and committing to the freelancer’s way of life.
1. Do you have a marketable skill?
Before jumping on the freelancer bandwagon, consider first if you have marketable skill. You can test that out by doing rakets on the side while still being employed. This will give you a better feel whether your skills and talents would be able to sustain you financially should you decide to fully become a freelancer.
2. Do you have a healthy network of potential clients?
For many freelancers, you may be the best in the business but if you don’t have clients who are willing to hire you, it’s a bust. Having a network and building that network is vital in ensuring that you get the volume of projects and assignments to keep you afloat. (This is an important factor most especially for introverts who don’t like mingling and making small talk.)
If you don’t have a robust network just yet, don’t worry as you can build this by marketing your skills, joining seminars and meeting other freelancers and potential clients in your industry through communities.
3. Do you have the resources to get you going?
Unlike the stability of a 15th-30th salary, freelancers have to hustle for their pay. As many will come to realize, processing your billings and following up with clients and companies (week after week, month after month) are a hurdle to be dealt with. Patience is a virtue freelancers must have.
Before resigning from your corporate job and becoming a freelancer, it’s best to have a buffer savings account that can tide you over for at least three to six months.
Aside from the obvious stability, freelancers must also consider that they will have to process and pay for their own PhilHealth, SSS and other government benefits. This will entail registering for your own business name and processing the necessary paperwork, which may take a few weeks or months.
4. Do you feel comfortable working autonomously?
While many people complain about office politics, one of the things freelancers miss the most about the employed life are the people at the work place. Loneliness becomes one of the major psychological challenges for freelancers, who are often left to work on their own.
When in the office, the culture and rhythm of the work place helps keep employees on track when it comes to finishing their tasks. (Employees are most likely not going to slack off when they see everybody working).
But at home, as a freelancer, you pretty much have to keep yourself in check. And with your bed nearby, the internet on and the TV remote right within your reach, it’s easy to find yourself distracted. As a freelancer, you have to have a sense of discipline, and set a schedule for yourself to ensure that you meet personal and client deadlines.
Many people are drawn to the freelancer lifestyle, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Before jumping in, do have an honest conversation with yourself about commitment and what you’re willing to do to make it work.