If you are thinking about stepping into a freelance career, then there are so many things to look forward to. Being the only person that you need to report to, managing your workload, and setting the hours that you want to work are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of freelance life. As with anything, though, there are going to be some downsides to working freelance. Yes, you will be working from home. But you won’t have colleagues in a formal sense, and sometimes freelancing can feel a little lonely.
So you do need to ride the waves of freelance and roll with each day; it can be so varied and the time can fly! So here are some things to help prepare you for working as a freelancer. You will want to embrace it all, rather than have to endure it and be left wondering why you went freelance in the first place.
When you are working for yourself, you are the only person to report to. But it also means that you are the only person to deal with the workload and get things done. So being organised is really key. Keep a diary and have a planner, and schedule in what you will be doing each day. Of course, you have more flexibility than a traditional career, but you still want to make sure that your days are balanced so you don’t get burnt out.
One of the biggest challenges of freelance life is waiting for payments to come in. When you have a traditional career, you have a set payday each month. But as a freelancer, it will be when the clients pay your invoices. Some pay more right away; some may take weeks. So you need to learn to budget well and live within your means, as you wait for payments. You may want to get a loan with a short term in the interim and when you have something large to pay for, but only if you know that you will have payments coming in soon to pay it all off. So look at what you need to earn to live, and then get your clients accordingly.
There are many aspects to working as a freelancer. You will be the PR and the marketeer, as well as the admin and the accountant. So if there are areas that you are not sure about, then you need to make sure that you are up to scratch on the details. If you don’t know how or when to do a tax return, then you need to learn how. If you don’t know how to do certain admin tasks, then you need to look up and learn how. It will mean you can do so much more, and be a much more efficient freelancer.
The freelance world is growing, and it is easy to see why. You just need to be prepared, so that you can make a start as a freelancer and start off in the right way.