If you are planning to quit your current job and enter the world of the freelancer, then you had better be pretty darn well sure that this is something you want to do. Even if you are totally sure that you want to become a freelancer in your chosen field, is it something that is financially possible for you?
- Can you support your family on the salary you make from a freelancer?
- What about healthcare, are you prepared to give that up too in pursuit of a future as a freelancer?
- Can you handle the stress that comes from working with tight, often ridiculous deadlines on your projects?
- Do you work well by yourself and can you speak well when talking with a potential client who may want to hire you for his next project?
- Finally, do you have what it takes to constantly advertise yourself and your services to anyone who may be interested?
Far too often, people think that they want to be freelancers simply because it sounds cool.
After all, many people get it into their heads that there is no more relaxing work atmosphere than being able to wake up late, work on your computer while you are wearing your pajamas, and take off whatever days you want as your vacation.
Sure, those are all perks of being a freelancer, but let’s be honest here – there are quite a few trials and tribulations that you will have to go through as a freelancer before you can reach the point where you do not have to worry about your finances anymore. Yes, that is something that so many people fail to realize – you cannot expect to simply quit your current job for life as a freelancer and suddenly have hundreds of potential clients knocking at your door in hope that you will do a project for them.
There is much more to freelancing than that, so let’s find out if you have what it takes to make it in the cutthroat world of the freelancer.
The first thing that you have to realize about being a freelancer is that you may not be able to make ends meet on freelancing alone for quite some time.
So, if you are thinking about quitting your current job – don’t do it just yet. Instead, test the waters and be sure that you like freelancing first, and find out how much money you can make as a freelancer before you even begin to work on your resignation papers. As a fledgling freelancer, your best bet is to start off with clients that may not pay as much but will be able to get you in the door.
Sure, you will have to take jobs that you may think are below you – but in the end it will pay off. Maybe not financially at first, but by way of getting your name out there and adding employment opportunities to your ever expanding list of satisfied customers.
Therefore, if you want to freelance professionally, you have to be willing to take a pay cut at first in order to be successful later. Secondly, you have to figure out whether or not you can support your family on the salary you will make as a freelancer. Remember that you will have to take a pay cut from your current job when you first start out as a freelancer, and when you finally quit your current job for good, will you be able to bring in enough work to keep your family’s lifestyle at the same level it currently is?
These are important questions that you have to ask yourself before you make that big leap into the world of freelancing.
While it is not very important if you decide to keep doing freelance work as a supplement to your current income – it will become extremely important if you decide to make your freelance salary your sole income. Next, you have to think about what you will do for healthcare as a freelancer. Without the support of an already established business behind you, you will have to pay for your own (and your family’s) health insurance out of pocket.
This is not a big deal if you have a spouse that gets health insurance from his or her workplace, but if your spouse is a stay at home parent or is involved in their own freelance business, this becomes a major expense to think about.
So be sure that you will be able to afford health insurance for all of your loved ones when you become a freelancer. Stress management is a key factor of working for you as a freelancer. You will be faced with projects that may require you to work long and hard before you can finish them.
Often, these projects will be extremely difficult and be under some ludicrous deadline – making them that much more intense. So, are you good at handling stressful situations such as these?
After all, if you are not able to get the project back to your client on time and in working order, you may be discredited and have a much more difficult time finding work for many months to come. Are you a team player or do you work better as an individual? While this question may seem insignificant, remember that as a freelancer you really have no team to rely on should you not know how to do something.
Sure, you could scour the internet for answers to your questions – but that will take away valuable time from your project.
So, if you are the type of person who can accomplish tasks more efficiently in a group, then you may want to rethink the idea of going freelance, because the individualize work environment of a freelancer is certainly not for you.
Finally, can you handle the fact that you must constantly advertise your services to just about anyone who may need you to do some work for them? Do you have enough self esteem that you can promote yourself as if you are the best freelancer out there?
Being able to constantly advertise your services is a major benefit for anyone looking to become a freelancer. While it is possible to by shy or withdrawn and be successful at freelancing, you will have a much easier time if you are more vocal about promoting your services to prospective customers.