After I got laid off from my job, I knew it was going to be tough and take a while before I found a new position, and that was if I’d find one. I decided in the interim, I would become a freelancer. I knew that this would be the easiest thing to get going since I had a network of people, some marketing skills, and a pretty open schedule. It turns out that I was on to something. People didn’t just freelance for some extra money: freelance had become a new full time career for some people! There’s quite a few benefits that come with it:
- Setting your own hours: The typical business hours are between 9am and 5pm, but there are also shifts like 6am to 2pm, 2pm to 10pm, and 10pm to 6am. None of these sounded completely attractive for me. Being a freelancer, you can set your own hours. If 9 to 5 works best for your clients, then this would be a good idea, but depending on your business and your sleep schedule, you could work in the middle of the night if that works best for you.
- Being your own boss: I have no problem with authority, but I do enjoy having the freedom and the responsibility of my own work. When you perform good or bad work as a freelancer, it’s a reflection of yourself. You have your own reputation and you decide what’s important and what’s not. This type of freedom is rarely found in a regular job.
- Being able to travel: I’m a freelance writer so I don’t have to be in one particular location at a time. My work is done primarily online, so I just have to make sure I’m somewhere with a reliable Internet connection. Technology nowadays allows me to be connected virtually anywhere! I can be at home, at a coffee shop down the street, or around the world and still get my work done. This can allow me to travel to see family or just to enjoy myself on vacation and still submit my work to my clients.
- I can choose my clients: When you’re working with a company, you don’t have much say about who you work with or who your customer is. You just have to deal with it. As a freelancer, people will request my services and it’s up to me whether or not I would like to take on their projects. I was told by one of my colleagues that sometimes I have to “fire a client”, and if they become a nuisance, I don’t have to stick around.
- It’s my passion: I have always loved to write, and so being a freelance writer, I get to do what I love. It’s something I’m passionate about and not just something I have to do for a paycheck. Getting paid to do what you love is so much more fulfilling, and when you enjoy your job, you tend to perform better as well.
Freelance wasn’t what I thought I’d be doing, at least not for a long period of time, but I’m 9 months in and I absolutely love it. You don’t have to be a writer to be a freelancer; I know web designers, consultants, photographers and other professionals who freelance. It’s an excellent career path. All I had to do was go through company registration and I was good to go. The only downside is the invoicing, paperwork and other business administration side of things.