If you are an introvert like me who loves to have online meetings, working from home is a blessing. Choosing your clients and working hours is a plus. However, not everyone is cut the same way. Even after the kids go back to school (sometime soon), the job market will never be the same due to the sluggish economy and because freelancing is taking over full-time jobs in specific sectors. In 2109, 57 million freelancers, 60% said they were freelancing by choice, and now with the pandemic, freelancing membership websites like Fiverr, Upwork, Contra, Toptal and Contena have seen an increase in memberships.
Pros and Cons of Freelancing
Everyone knows the sweet benefits of having a job: paycheck, medical benefits, 401 retirement fund, maybe dental plans, and a career path. In other words, security and stability. However, the downside of a 9 to 5 office schedule is the long commute, missing kids’ conferences, shows, or meet-ups, not mentioning the uncomfortable eye-rolling every time we request a schedule change because of a doctor’s appointment or school emergency.
Freelancing, on the other hand, has bittersweet moments, the main one is a steady paycheck. No matter how much we work, and how good the business is going, the stress is there, home-based businesses depend on development leads and state of the art customer service to have good sales and increase personal income. No safety net here 🙁
You should read Bethanny Carl’s comprehensive guide to help you become a successful freelancer. She points out some traits that do not go hand-in-hand with freelancing, like having trouble being a self-starter, not accepting feedback or criticism from your peers, and most of all if you need a safety net.
Furthermore, Bethanny highlights the “traps” every newbie freelancer falls into:
- Don’t accept every project, be selective and take those which you can show your skills.
- Don’t price too low, or too high.
- Always follow-up, even if they said no, leave the door open for future projects.
- Get a signed contract BEFORE starting the project or delivering samples.
- Outsource administrative chores, focus on what you have to do.
- Create a routine, be consistent and don’t give up.
I recommend to read (or re-read) the World Economic Forum on the future of work and check out the projected workforce size for 2027, the careers and skills they forecast will have better chances to get hired.
However, don’t forget to look into top freelancing companies if you have certifications and specialized skills.
From Freelancing to Business Owner
If you are working on multiple projects at the same time, you are in need of a virtual assistant to help you schedule meetings, do some bookkeeping, and maybe outsource social media managers because you can’t keep up with your feed and customer engagements, then think about taking the next step and start growing your freelance career into a stable, profitable business.