How to Adapt to a Flexible Freelancing Environment

Freelancing’s reputation has evolved quite a lot over the past few years. It’s gone from being somewhat of a rebellious pursuit (flying without a financial net, as it were), to an exceptionally creative resourceful, important lifestyle choice. Indeed, the metaphorical doors to Gig Economy Land are wide open!

Whether it’s by necessity or aspiration, those who are just starting to navigate their way around any given freelance landscape might have already found themselves quite perplexed. Is there structure? No, no there is not – unless they decide to make it so. Perseverance and adaptability are two of the most necessary keys to freelancing success.

Definition determinations…

When it comes to freelancing, “flexibility” can be described as having the wherewithal to adjust a schedule quickly and efficiently for the benefit of getting work done, thereby earning money. Newcomers do find this aspect somewhat challenging, particularly if they’re from a “real world” job background with set hours. Then again, “flexibility” could mean being able to get things done on one’s own time without any set schedule. Regardless of the definition, the flexible freelancer has an advantage.

Everywhere effects…

Many of the freelancing jobs these days mention flexibility in their job descriptions. Sometimes, flexibility is for the benefit of the freelancer, in terms such as “Work whenever you’d like, provided you meet the overall deadline.” Other times, employers want freelancers with flexible schedules so that they can be sent short-notice projects. New freelancers should seek out jobs with the former proviso; the longer they can keep their freelancing career going without missing a deadline, the better.

Just juggling…

Another example of needing flexibility in the freelancing world comes when a freelancer has a several different projects to work on at the same time. Most freelancers do find themselves in this position on a regular basis, particularly if freelancing is the only way they’re earning an income.

So, in this scenario, flexibility could mean being able to switch between projects throughout any given work day, depending on that project’s requirements, as a productivity tool. Those just starting out as freelancers will probably want to hold off on juggling; instead, they should consider keeping a “real world” job, and take only one project at a time.

Time telling…

Freelancers who are working (particularly) as writers and/or editors will almost certainly find themselves regularly having to change their schedules to accommodate projects for clients in different time zones. A common example of this is the 3-hour East/West Coast difference in the United States.

However, the time zones can really start getting confusing when a client is, quite literally, half a world away and 10+ hours ahead. In which case, freelancers have to be flexible enough to not only anticipate possible assignments, but to also calculate when they can complete them reasonably, no matter the time.

Tip: instead of constantly doing the math, try a resource such as World Time Buddy.

Getting good…

Adapting to freelancing is much like being on an exercise program. There are techniques to learn, and goals to achieve. Multitasking can become almost second nature over a period of time, though it should never be at the expense of wellbeing. Learning to metaphorically bend with the freelancing winds can develop a mindset more conditioned to dealing with, and rising above, life’s hiccups on the path to prosperity.

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