More and more people are choosing to go freelance for various reasons. While this means that people are more understanding of this method of earning a living, plenty of people have a general misunderstanding about what freelancers do all day.
Here are some common questions and misconceptions:
Aren’t you just unemployed?
As unemployed as any entrepreneur or business owner. Some people have a tendency to think that freelance is just another word for being unable to get or keep a job. Nowadays more people are realising that they prefer this arrangement and would much rather work for themselves than get a traditional job.
While it is true that the work can dry up and you can fall into a panic infused trap of not knowing how to pay the bills, you are still working. You are also running a business.
You must be financially unstable
If your family or friends keep bringing up financial worries, don’t just dismiss this. They’re right to be concerned. If you go full-time you lose a guaranteed income, holiday pay and pensions. This is why you need to have a plan and invest your time heavily in marketing so that the work doesn’t dry up. It is true that you don’t have the structure and comfort of a salary. However, no job is permanent these days and there is little stability.
Freelancers simply have to be more organised and aware of their finances, particularly with accounting. You have to do your own accounts so it’s often best to hire an accountant.
You can’t be making much money from that, surely?
While you may not be earning much at first, you can always start freelancing in addition to your day job while you grow more financially comfortable. If you work at it and market yourself well then freelancing work has the potential to make you a decent amount of money.
This will depend on many different factors, like what your niche is, who your clients are and what their typical budget is like as well as your own hard work. The good thing about this is that there is no limit to how much you can earn.
If you find you’re not making money there are things you can try specialising in another area or try to reform your marketing plan. You can do more to actively increase your earnings as a freelancer than you can in a regular job with a salary.
You must be lonely
Not necessarily. Some freelancers do indeed get lonely but there are solutions to this. You can try co-working, which is where you work alongside others for the office experience. You can also try working in public spaces.
However, there are also plenty of freelancers who don’t mind spending long periods alone. Introverts can actually thrive in peace and quiet which is why it’s often an attractive career alternative for them.
It must be fun only doing jobs you like
Some people have a more rose-tinted view of freelancing and assume it’s one big party. You can choose to turn work down if you really want. However, you can’t always be picky. Bills need paying, you need to eat and sometimes your work isn’t much fun.
Like with any job there will be good days and bad. The idea of working from home may be a nice idea but the reality is that you have to take care of lots of tedious duties like admin, accounting and marketing. Most people don’t find these parts much fun.
You’re free for lunch right?
You’ll get some friends or family members who seem to think that you’re free all day. While there’s nothing wrong with going out in the middle of the day, people shouldn’t expect you to drop your work.
If you want to make freelancing work, you can’t get into the habit of acting like you have the day off. The most successful freelancers have strict working hours. You need to make people understand that you’re working so that they don’t disturb you.
Have you heard any similar criticisms? What would you say in return? Let us know what you think in the comments below.