freelancer - Zinny Factor

When you’re frustrated with your boss, your job, your career and your commute the life of a freelancer can seem idyllic. Think of it! Waking up and rolling out of bed, enjoying a leisurely breakfast before strolling to your desk to start your day while others are scrambling through rush hour traffic or embarking on their maddening commute with a cold piece of toast clamped between their teeth. 

Yet, while the life of a freelancer certainly has its advantages, it also comes with its fair share of caveats. If you’re serious about becoming a freelancer and making a living from your talents, here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind.

Don’t quit your day job (just yet)

As tempting as it may be to tell your boss what to do with their job immediately, we’d advise sticking it out for as long as you can and starting to lay the foundations of your freelancing career alongside your day job. Find where the best job postings are, using websites like Jobble to find hourly postings. Start to build relationships with a handful of clients and develop a reputation for yourself. This will make it easier to increase your chances of getting good work and allow you to gradually transition into freelancing on a full time basis. 

Your productivity- Your responsibility

After a few weeks of freelancing you may find yourself actually missing your old boss. When you’re a freelancer, your productivity is your responsibility. And sometimes it can be hard to get by on willpower alone. You may benefit from installing distraction blocking software on your computer, keeping your phone in your desk drawer and working in a space that insulates you from the distractions of the home. 

The same goes for your tax

If you’re used to your employer taking care of your tax yourself, you may be in for a rude awakening when you start freelancing. It’s up to you to keep detailed records of your income and expenditure so you can file your tax return with confidence. 

Always be networking

As a freelancer, you’ll always need to be on the lookout for new clients and hustling for better paid opportunities as your reputation and skills grow. This means that you’ll need to master the fine art of networking. Remember that networking is all about meeting people and making contacts. It’s not an appropriate place to start pitching your services or giving people the hard sell. 

Beware the burnout

While it’s important to keep hustling for new business, many a freelancer has learned the hard way that over-committing is a shortcut to burning out. At best, you overextend yourself, work too hard for too long and the quality of your output suffers. At worst you risk incurring serious stress and find yourself significantly damaging your mental and physical health. 

Freelancing can be the best thing that ever happened to you, or it can send you limping back to your old job with your tail between your legs. That’s why it’s important to go in with your eyes wide open and start laying the foundations of success straight away. 

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*This is a collaborative post.