For me, when I started freelancing full-time, it was (somewhat) the case of following others, more than anything else. What struck me most was the ease with which freelancers work, especially, if one could get everything done with the Internet and a computer. But if that’s the only reason you want to become a freelancer then you’re in for a bad time.
Earlier we had an article about 9 things you should know about going into full-time freelancing, and if you have read it you would know that despite what freelancing has to offer, it’s not a career path for everyone.
It’s not that we are discouraging you from taking up freelancing (full-time or part-time), in fact, the point of this article is to give you reasons why you should give it a go.
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The first reason why you should try freelancing is…
1. To satisfy your creative impulse
Many individuals are just born creative and talented. They usually have a great desire to exhibit skills in some form, yet in a normal desk job, it’s rare that they could ever find a platform to showcase their talent.
For instance, a designer working in a software firm may come across a great design idea, but there isn’t really a chance to try the idea out since he has to work within the confines of his job scope or the project requirements.
In most cases, even if he were to suggest that the team tries his new idea, more often than not, it’s just "not the right time to try something so new" – give me a show of hands if you have heard this.
Don’t get mad, get to work!
In this case, you can put your idea to good use in freelance: produce a good sample and put it in your portfolio, or keep the idea in your "Idea Book" for a chance to try it out in the future, or just go all out and make it, then feature it in design websites or enter it into competitions.
2. To obtain added income
There is no dearth of individuals who spend more than half their life grumbling about low pay in their jobs. No matter what salary you draw every month, it usually runs out way too early. If your job isn’t taking too many hours out of your day, you can use your spare time to work on freelance projects.
It’s a win-win situation: you get to keep your job and your benefits, and you can find potential clients for freelance work from your network of acquaintances.
There are many companies that prefer to engage freelancers rather than employ a full-time in-house artist, designer, developer, or writer. You can take advantage of that and earn yourself some extra pocket money in the process.
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3. To open up new career options
Freelancing prepares you for a professional career ahead. It also harnesses your skills, and for those who catch on fast and who are willing to learn new things, the sky is the limit.
In the beginning, however, you may find that things may advance slower than expected. It’s not easy to convince someone to try something new, let alone pay for a freelancer who has yet to make a name of himself (or herself). But as you build your clientele list and become an expert in your field, things will indefinitely become way easier.
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This opens up the opportunity to really do something you love (if you aren’t already doing it) and in this career choice, you can have a part in making the rules.
4. To work from home
This is what makes freelancing an attractive option to pursue, and the crucial factor that makes everyone want to fill in ‘freelancer’ as their occupation.
For starters, there are plenty of ways you can save on working from home: transportation expenses, money for gas (or petrol depending on where you come from), the time spent getting to and from work, buying lunch and other work-related expenses.
If you work from home, you’ll only need:
- a stable Wi-Fi connection.
- a (cell)phone number or video conference tool.
- an email account and possibly a printer (if invoicing on paper is still your thing).
The (probably) best thing to come out of this is that there will be no more meetings, office politics and drama from the workplace. You get to focus on just getting the work done and be paid for just that.
5. To pick up holidays at will
Those who have worked in the office know how hard it is for them to get their days off approved by the bosses. It’s different for freelancers. Provided that you have completed your project, simiply don’t accept any new assignment for a self-imposed break from work. Pack your bags and slip to your favorite destination with your family or friends.
If there comes a need to get back to work – a.k.a. an emergency – just whip out your laptop or smartphone and you can continue as if you have never left. It is up to you to make your vacation fun, you get to decide where you want to tune in or tune out.
Bear in mind that you need to have self-discipline to pull through, the kind of discipline that was imposed on you at the workplace. You can always be more lenient with yourself, nonetheless and by having proper time management and knowing where to set your boundaries, there’s no stopping you.
So there you have it, five simple reasons why you should give freelancing a try. Are you all hyped up and going "this is so the life for me", hold your horses. You might want to check out tomorrow’s post. Remember to tune in tomorrow.