Setting your own schedule, having more time for loved ones and hobbies, isn’t that what freelancing is all about? It can be, but it can also mean lots of work for less pay – work that might take you longer to complete than if you had been in a “traditional” 9 to 5 job with set hourly wages or a salary. So, in advance of you delving into the world of freelancing, save yourself some time by really considering if this sort of lifestyle suits you.
Note the “Free” in Freelancing
Before search engines really started to regulate their results, would-be freelancers came across many “get rich quick” websites, promising thousands of dollars for only a few hours of work. To learn the secrets, the only thing people had to do was pay a membership fee. Although affiliate marketing did used to be quite the money maker, things have changed.
Now, the search engine results are better, and it takes more work for freelancers to really prove themselves in their chosen niches. Although pay is usually low for anyone starting out in a new job, it can be even lower ($5.00 or less per hour is common) in the freelancing universe.
Are you someone who only wants to freelance occasionally while keeping a steady “real world” job? Then you’re probably not going to fret as much about finances. However, if you’re unemployed, underemployed, or want to leave your current regular job, freelancing isn’t going to give you any sort of financial stability – at least not starting out.
Get Used to Irregularity
Are you good with saving money? Jobs, clients, and paychecks come and go. Do you need structure? A company might seem like it could go on forever, then all of a sudden, it’s gone. Some jobs might have contracts, but generally, you leave whenever you want, and if they want to let you go, they do; no questions asked in either scenario. You could go months without any work, then, all of a sudden, you might have more work than ever. Freelancing is for the flexible.
Crickets and Criticism
Sometimes, you might have set clients or jobs, and there just isn’t any work. Or, perhaps you’ve sent out lots of applications, and have yet to get any responses. Backup plans are essential for freelancers.
Regardless of the freelance jobs you do, it’s important to get used to criticism. Working online, it’s easy for people to hide behind a façade and be rude/entirely too picky. If you’re thin-skinned, you might want to toughen up a bit if you want to become a freelancer. Tactfulness is an important trait!
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