Freelancing sounds like a glamorous job, right?
However, not many people take the plunge and quit their day job to become a freelancer, mostly because – although the job title is very much sought-after because you work for yourself and that alone comes with many perks – there are still uncertainties, such as job security and ensuring there will be enough work to earn the necessary cash needed to pay all the bills.
However, there are a lot of points that many people do not know about freelancing that they should before they take the plunge into the unknown.
In this article, we are going to explore three things you need to know before packing up your desk and freelancing:
1) Your Reputation is Important
Many freelancers have built up their client base from the jobs they have had in the past, with new clients being guided to you through recommendations.
All the clients that you have and gain in the future need to know that you are reliable and are able to meet deadlines, complete the work they provide you with and can do so at a high standard that will have them returning in the future.
As a freelancer, you may not have to be at the office at a specific time, but you cannot escape time altogether, making it critical for you to adhere to all guidelines and time constraints to be seen as a professional that can be trusted in the future.
Another aspect you will need to keep up to date in order to maintain your reputation is to educate yourself when there is a need to. By this I mean, if you are a content writer, there is a need to keep up to date with all online marketing SEO requirements, trends and more, to ensure you can give your clients what they need depending on their industry.
2) Your Pay Check will Differ every month
Unfortunately, as a freelancer, there is the need to make sure you have booked enough work to bring in the pay you need to pay your bills and get through another month.
Unlike working for a boss – where you receive a stable paycheque at a set amount each month, freelancing works completely differently, with you needing to ensure you have booked enough work that you can not only complete in time and at a high standard but to bring in enough money.
One of the advantages of being a freelancer is that you can make more money, however, you have to weigh up whether or not the extra money is worth being paid irregularly.
The best way to ensure you make enough money on time each month is to make a schedule where you can fill out how many clients you need and have, and how much more money you have to make.
3) There are No Perks
Unfortunately, if you choose to be a freelancer, there are no perks or benefits included in the job. When I say perks, I mean the likes of health insurance or medical aid, a pension or travel allowance.
Many full-time jobs come with some, or all if you’re lucky, of these perks meaning you do not need to worry about shelling out extra cash for you (and possibly for your family) if you are employed.
This is one very prominent reason why a lot of full-time employees do not move over to freelancing, no matter how much they want to.
These three points are here to educate you in what being a freelancer is all about, before you decide to make the move. There are a lot of advantages – like having to report to no one but yourself and having a lot of free time – but it takes a lot of self-discipline and hard work to get the balance right.