What You Need To Know Before Freelancing?

Freelancing is a very good option for those who want to strike out on their own. There can be many reasons behind you choosing freelancing as a career option for yourself. Some do it for some extra money along with their regular jobs, some do it because they need to pay bills or college tuition fees and some do it because they cannot or do not want to bound by regular office hours.

For me I took up freelancing because my family moves around a lot and it was not possible to join any office for a long term. Since I took up freelancing I have been able to make my own schedules, enjoy lot of family time and still earn some decent money. However like all journeys we taken on unknown path the journey to my being a successful freelancer has not been easy. In this post I would like to share my experience on things what you need to know before freelancing.

It is never going to be easy: Freelancing is not an easy job by any means. There is a lot of competition out there. When you take a plunge in freelancing you are going to be competing against people from all corners of the world and not just from a small set of works.  Also a lot of hard work will go into organizing, bidding for projects, meeting deadlines etc.  Client are going to come running to you at the start, you will have to attract them towards you.

No freelancer gets rich right away: Before you start freelancing make sure that you are not swayed by the advertisements like ‘earn 10000 rupees in a day’ or ‘I got rich working just 2 hours a day’ etc. they are frauds. There is no freelancing job that will make you rich in a day; in fact most freelancers cannot even make a decent earning in the beginning. It is more of a case of slow and steady. When I started working I used to apply for 30 jobs and get one or two.

People are not very receptive towards freelancing jobs: I have been working as a freelancer for 3 years now and when I tell people what I do, they still look at me with doubt in their eyes and ask ‘does it work’. They have a hard time accepting that you have to follow a schedule when you are just ‘sitting at home’. It will be your job to let these things not affect you and be firm in maintaining your schedule and deadlines.

You will be responsible for any glitches: These glitches can include many things like illness, broken equipment, no internet connection, emergency leave etc. You will have to work hard alone to get over these problem because with every client the deadline as to be made.

There are no extra perks or bonuses: When you are working on your own or freelancing there will be no perks or bonuses for you. Perks like insurance, paid leave, sick leave, and some kind of TA/DA are not applicable to freelancers even when they are working the same amount as the regular employee in a company. Same goes for bonuses, there are no regular bonuses in freelancing. There are some clients who might give you a bonus for a job well done or for completion in time but that is entirely the client’s prerogative and you cannot ask for it.

You cannot ignore even a single client: Every single client can make a difference of success and failure for you. You cannot ignore any client no matter how small is the project that you have undertaken. Therefore you will have to learn how to strike a balance and keep clients happy at all times.

You will have to learn to say no: You will have to learn to say no to both personal functions and commitments and to some of your clients. The hard reality of being a freelancer is that sometimes you will have to say no to some big projects because you are finishing up the other smaller ones. You need to keep some time aside for last minute changes or some extra work.

I hope the above points will help you better prepare for the challenges a freelancer has to face. It will help you avoid a lot of tension and disappointments and you will be able to enjoy the sweet victories (both big and small) of being your own boss.