Have you ever thought of quitting your desk job in the dreams of creating a mobile career where you would be able to work from anywhere in the world? So have I! And I’m telling you most of the time its fabulous and lives up to the expectations. But there are almost equal times when it is so hard that I would give a lot of things to have a stable, predictable 9-5 job! Last week we talked about traits that show that You are ready to go freelance so lets see the not-so-fab side of being a freelancer.
- Firstly, freelancing involves more than average hard work: you have to be extremely good at what you do if you want to soar among the myriads of freelancers (who are offering the same service)
- You have to gain expertise: it is easier to find work in a niche and it is also easier to become an expert in that field – but this requires also hard work, many hours of studying and honing your skills.
- At the same time you must be able to multitask and this is one of the reasons why (supposedly) women make better freelancers.
- There are so many things besides the actual work to be done: marketing, accounting, social media, sending pitches and offers, looking for new clients, taking care of old ones, endless e-mail streams and negotiations. And these are some of the many things freelancers don’t get paid for.
- You don’t have set hours – if you have a deadline, you have a deadline. If you take an afternoon off e-mails you might lose a client with a very good project. If you receive a Friday project with a Monday deadline you have to work all weekend. And no, taking your laptop on the beach is only good for social media etc. I for one never managed to do a decent hour’s work anywhere near a beach!
- You have to stay on top of your game: continuing professional development is a must and even if you think you cannot take the time off actual work, I think it is actually good for you and for business to take some time off for training (after all you are your business, aren’t you?)
- Finally (even though I’m sure there are many more arguments to be made), and this is a conclusion I have come to after many hours of discussing with freelancing friends and colleagues, freelancers suffer from Freelancers’ Guilt. The nasty guilt that every moment not spent working is wasted, a feeling which derives from the fact that for the modern working person (employee, entrepreneur, freelancer) our job has become our whole life. It’s not always a good thing.
If you have read so far it means you are not scared of hard work and maybe you ought to wonder if You are ready to begin working as a freelancer! And here are some handy tips for your sanity as a freelancer 🙂
Tips for staying sane while maintaining a successful freelancing career
- Keep some savings for famine periods (make sure they cover your rent and immediate bills)
- Create a schedule for social media posts and updates
- Create content to use in those posts and updates 🙂
- Connect with people, visit trade shows (not necessarily your trade’s), exhibitions, fairs
- Take some time off – it is the most rewarding creativity boost!
- Regularly change your working environment – check out some cool translation office deco ideas or detox your office once in a while