Is freelancing the best career match for you?

Making your own schedule, having more time for loved ones and hobbies, isn’t that what freelancing is all about? Well, yes, at times.  but it can also mean much work for minimal 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. Before you walk that freelancing road, save yourself some time by really considering if this sort of lifestyle suits you…

Have a solid understanding of 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 those lucrative 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, especially for those who choose to take the data entry route.

Are you someone who only wants to freelance occasionally while keeping a steady “real world” job? Then you’re probably not going 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 – not starting out, anyway.

Irregularity is commonplace…

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. For example, one job accepted me two years after I’d initially applied! Structure really isn’t something to expect in freelancing, but patience is a must.

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 – and oftentimes many of them – 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!

Bottom line: if you’re used to the unexpected, prefer minimal structure in any given day, and know how to keep calm in a variety of different situations, then freelancing might just be a gem in your career path.

 

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