Before you jump headlong into the freelancing world, here’s what you should know
The incessant mindless chatter of vapid colleagues getting you down? The unnecessary pressures and increasing demands from a behemoth of boss ensuring that you blow a gasket? Or is it simply that the 9 to 5 (or is it the 9 to 9) grind has well and truly ground you into submission? Well, these and several other reasons may just be why you would fantasize about ditching it all, dropping it like ah-not-so-hot, and heading gleefully to the fabulous freelancing world.
Ah – the mere mention is enough
Now, you can almost hear the pan pipes of bliss playing an oh so relaxing piece for you, and see yourself basking in an aura of all-encompassing euphoria! Well, while freelancing is a heck of an escape route from *insert biggest workplace grouses here* and more, it is known to throw up some issues. Now, while these are in no way insurmountable, the following factors should be carefully considered before you take the plunge:
Dip your toe in
“Just jump in, and take it as it comes,” said no right-thinking adult ever. With a freelancing switch, you’re looking at a fairly enormous life-changing experience. Therefore, it makes sense to check if the industry you’re looking to get into has sufficient need for freelancers. Also, do speak to people from the industry to further understand the scope and the ins and outs of it all.
Remedy: If you can carry out some sneaky freelance projects on the side (to test the waters) while you hold onto the day job, that’d be perfect!
Bills, bills, bills
Naw, this has nothing to do with that Destiny’s Child track, but with cold hard reality. The first thing to consider in the freelance world, is cash, more specifically the irregular flow of the said item. This irregularity has a lot to do with the frequency of work. Some days or weeks it’s all ‘pedal to the metal’ and other times we’re verging on the tumbleweed territory. Remember – if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Besides, some clients may just delay payments, further clogging up your cash flow.
Remedy: Keep some cash stowed away to tide you over.
Work is always going to be a bit up and down in this game. So, what you do with downtime is the key. You’d need to be patient, keep it together, and keep faith in yourself to land the next project.
Remedy: Use downtime to acquire additional skills.
A nook with your name on it
Depending on what your work involves, any place on the planet could be your workplace. However, if you do have more of a desk job, do consider having a little office room or workspace set up at home. That way, you can effectively draw a line between work and play.
Remedy: Discuss this with family and demarcate some space.
If you’re someone who thrives on routine, then the freelancing world does not necessarily provide this for you. More often than not, you have complete control over this.
Remedy: Be more disciplined with yourself, and lay down a routine you can stick to.