The fast development of technology and the “new normality” that has been recently established as the business code of conduct due to the pandemic have led to the rise of freelancing. Many working people around the world are turning to home-based work. Some of them are ordered by their companies to do it, while others take the path of freelancing. While the former includes working from home for a fixed salary, the latter means starting from scratch until you get your motor rolling. In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to discuss some important considerations for freelancers-to-be.
- Combining a steady job and side jobs
Becoming a freelancer is a significant change in everybody’s life. It might be easier for people who still haven’t started a family or for married people with children. Nevertheless, replacing a secure, steady job with the uncertainty of freelancing is a bold move. Instead of being assigned tasks and projects by your team leaders and managers, now you’re the one who needs to seek jobs on a dense global labor market.
On the one hand, the potentials are immense because you might make more money in one month than your company colleagues in a year. On the other hand, things usually don’t take off so quickly or successfully. Most freelancers spend months, even years mining for that one life-changing project that skyrockets them into the freelancing elite.
Because of that, think about combining a steady job and side projects at the beginning. This will give you some time to feel the pulse of the market and find the right spot for your freelancing quest. Apart from that, you’ll have enough time to save enough assets as a safety cushion once you leave your steady job for pure freelancing.
- Ensuring financial stability
The scenario from the previous paragraph in which you simply start freelancing and get rich is not too probable. It is not impossible, but it is more likely for experienced experts in a narrow number of fields – financial consultants, senior software developers, exquisite designers and similar professionals. Such people will earn more if they start charging their work by projects, instead of full-time employment.
The principle is the same as in ordinary freelancers – charging more per hour than you would make as a permanent company employee. But the professionals above are usually brand names with a substantial network of business partners, previous clients, and colleagues.
Young or rookie freelancers usually don’t have so many connections at disposal. That’s why they will be encountering ebbs and flows, work-wise, until they form a stable pool of clients.
That’s why they need to ensure financial stability before freelancing. A common manner for reaching that goal is doing side projects while being permanently above, as described in the paragraph above. Another practical way is ensuring passive income by selling things you don’t need or renting devices, properties or similar things. This freelancer’s emergency fund, as reported by Business Insider, will ensure a less stressful and smoother transition from full-time employment to freelancing.
- Calculating monthly expenses
Within your financial preparations for the leap into the world of freelancing, it’s important to calculate your monthly expenses. Take into account all the overhead expenses that this move will incur. If you can work from home, you won’t have to pay double overhead expenses, unlike the situation in which you rent an office or work from a co-working space.
Visit an accountant and find out more about paying taxes as a freelancer. These regulations differ from country to country so it’s vital to get informed on the rules valid in your country or region of residence. After that, add these expenses to your list, as well.
What you should also take care of is the savings aspect. We’ve already described the necessity of an emergency fund. These saved assets should suffice not only for your business expenses but for your everyday life, as well. A rule of thumb is to save enough money to survive six months without new earnings. In case you can’t land new projects due to events out of your control – say, this pandemic – you’ll be able to maintain your lifestyle in spite of the crisis.
- Preparing the CV and portfolio
Apart from the financial aspect of freelancing, knowing how to sell your skills is also an important element.
For starters, prepare your CV. Write down all the bits of work experience that you have. Unlike purpose-made CVs that we usually write when applying for a certain position, this one should include each and every project you’ve done, given that your own the rights to it. For instance, content ghostwriters can’t include projects which they completed, since they’re not signed as authors. You’re not applying for a specific job so you don’t have to leave out any jobs. Contrary to that, you can’t tell if even some smaller projects will be noticed by a potential client and ensure your first project.
So, include all your tasks in your CV and post it to social media. From LinkedIn and Upwork to niche-related networks, spread the word about your qualifications and skills.
Moreover, creating a professional portfolio is a must today. As suggested by the designers from a digital agency based in Houston, you can have a portfolio website launched for that purpose. It would actually be an extended version of your CV in the form of a website. Some professionals, like software developers or construction engineers, might need more complex websites to showcase examples of their previous projects. For some others, such as content writers, a simple portfolio website will do.
Becoming a freelancer is a pivotal decision that will change your lifestyle. It will take more sacrifice and deep thinking than being an employee in a company, but it may bring tremendous financial and professional benefits. If you adequately prepare yourself for this step, you’ll increase your chances to succeed. Our tips and strategies will help you undertake some handy preparatory measures to ensure a stable and profitable start of your freelancing career.
Author Byline: Liam Collins is a tech pundit and Web enthusiast working at TuiSpace.com. He spends most of his time reading and writing about the current affairs in the world of information technology. When he isn’t working, he likes going for long bike rides and walks in nature.