Freelancing is something that takes courage to do. It’s a lifestyle. Approximately 53 million people in the US or 34% of the workforce in the entire world are freelancers.
Why do people choose freelancing?
- 80% of non-freelancers say they would be willing to do work outside their primary job to make more money
- Earning extra money (but not financial necessity) and schedule flexibility are the top drivers of freelancing
- Finding work and, correspondingly, income stability are the top barriers to doing more freelancing work
- 69% of freelancers said technology has made it easier to find freelance work
- 77% of freelancers say the best days are yet ahead for freelancing
- 65% said freelancing as a career path is more respected today than it was three years ago
- 36% of moonlighters who have a primary job have thought about quitting to work completely independently
And that’s just in the US.
There’s a few things that attracts people to freelancing and is what most freelancers love: potential for more pay, work flexibility, and it’s easier to find a job.
So are you ready to become a freelancer? How do you know if you’re ready?
- Do you love working at home? For some people, this is impossible. Home distracts them from work.
- Do you mind being by yourself? For some people, this is impossible. Some people need to be around people to work.
- Are you ready for a non-secure job? Freelancing, most of the time, means no security. There will be bosses that do not give you a contract. That means you getting paid depends highly on trust. At any point, your boss can stop paying you or leave you.
For a lot of people, freelancing gives them an adrenaline rush. The feeling of pure freedom. When you freelance, you are forced to rely on nothing but yourself. You HAVE to sell yourself and you have to work hard and rely on YOUR skills to get the job done and get paid.
Job hopping is a common thing in freelancing. You will be lucky and find one long-term job where you might work for more than one year. Or you will not be as lucky and find a job and only work for 1-3 months. Freelancing is not a pretty career but in terms of flexibility and potential to make lots of money, freelancing can be a great thing.
Freelancing is NOT for everyone. Not everyone can stand having no security. A stable income and a contract is needed.
Many freelancers have the “entrepreneur mindset” meaning they are great at finding opportunities. When one job is lost, they can find another one quickly.
So again, how can you tell if you are ready to take the plunge into freelancing? The best way to know is by starting small and going part-time just to get the feel of it. Freelancers need to be fearless since their job will either be binded by a contract or agreement or be completely based on trust. So if you lose a job, you MUST know what to do. Where will you find the next opportunity?
But putting aside the idea that you might lose your job, if you end up getting a great long-term job, enjoy the ride! You will either have a fixed work schedule or your boss will be nice enough to allow you to have a flexible work schedule. Your job may or may not have a time tracker. Again, you must be able to have the mindset of working from home. Your home IS your workplace. This is why there’s the saying “freelancers love what they do” which is similar to entrepreneurs saying “entrepreneurs love doing what they do”. You need the ability to like what you are doing enough to do it in the comfort of your own home.
Speaking of liking what you are doing, freelancing involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses. There’s a variety of jobs in freelancing, but which job will you take on? Are you great at writing? SEO? Accounting? Coding? Calling? Figure out what you are potentially good at, then pursue it.
So again…..how do you know that you have what it takes to be a freelancer?
- Don’t mind working from home
- Don’t mind working by yourself
- Don’t mind an insecure unstable job
- Aren’t scared of losing a job (multiple times in a worst case scenario)
- Are GREAT at finding opportunities
- Know that one SKILL that you are really good at
- Are really good at selling yourself when the opportunity arises.
By the way, don’t misinterpret the word “selling yourself”. This just means you will market yourself, telling people how awesome you are and why they should hire you. It’s like applying for an office job. Your are selling yourself to the company when you apply for an office job.