Are you debating whether you should throw off the shackles of employment and go freelance?
While it’s wise to be cautious and consider such a big decision carefully, there are some great upsides to freelancing – yes, even beyond ridding yourself of your aggravating boss and annoying colleagues. Just in case you missed any, here are our great reasons to go freelance – and if these don’t sway you, nothing will!
You Can Work When You Want
Late riser? Burner of the midnight oil? As a freelancer, you can start and finish your working day when you want (providing the client doesn’t need you to be working or contactable at a specific time). You can work into the evening or even pull the occasional all-nighter, if that’s what suits you.
Want to attend that Tuesday afternoon Pilates class or fancy taking your classic car to that monthly midweek track event? You can. Whether you make up that time at some other point is up to your conscience, the demands of your deadlines and the needs of your pocket.
You Can Work for As Long as You Want
Although the present-day workforce has more work flexibility than ever before, it can still be hard to find the length of working week that suits you. It’s a particular issue for those with families, young or old, who need time and attention. When you become a freelancer, you gain the freedom to tailor-make your working week to your requirements.
Perhaps you only want to work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? No problem. Maybe your ideal is a 24-hour working week or a 42? That’s fine. You can stop work at 3 every day, or work 14 hours one week and 50 the next if you want – because nobody else is dictating how much work you do except. Money a bit tight? Take on a little extra work.
Financially comfortable, but feeling stressed or wanting more time for leisure or family time? Cut your work back.
You Can Work Where You Want
At your dining room table; in a converted garage or bedroom; on a train, bus or plane; in a purpose-made office or a co-working space; at the library or in a café! The only restriction to where you can get your funky freelancing on is the nature of your work. This may require lots of light, a Wi-Fi connection, ventilation, a desk or special equipment. But beyond those limitations, the choice is yours!
You Can Choose the Work You Do
Whether you stick to a niche or diversify is up to you. If you’re bored with completing very similar projects, you have the option to find something a little different when you’re looking for your next job. Yes, your boss still allocates your work – but you are that boss, and providing you’re making enough money, you can pick the projects that inspire you (or at the very least, ones that don’t cause a major headache or bore you senseless).
You Can Choose Who You Work For
One client at a time or twenty? Older clients, younger clients, established businesses or new and upcoming companies? Charities, local authorities or big corporations? Firms just around the corner or businesses based on the other side of the world? You can develop a preference or mix it up.
As a freelancer, you don’t have to work for companies whose ethos you dislike or for an employer you distrust.
You can find out as much or as little about them as you’re happy wit. If working for them doesn’t suit you, then once their project is completed, you can simply move on. You’re under no obligation to take on work from them again.
You Can Work How You Want
If you work best in short bursts, that’s fine; long stints are okay too. Perhaps you find you’re most productive if you swap tasks part way through the day or even part way through the morning. Maybe you work best when you listen to music or you like to tilt your chair back occasionally and contemplate a problem with your feet up on the desk.
Some freelancers swear they’re more productive if they start work in their pyjamas. None of these quirks and working methods are a problem when you freelance, because there are no company rules to follow or colleagues and bosses to dress up for or please.
You’re free to work in whatever way is best for you! If that’s in a kimono listening to Mozart while nibbling on Pop Tarts, then so be it.
You Can Earn How Much You Want (Within Reason)
We’ve already covered working hours and obviously, if you put more hours in, that’s a direct way of earning more Your project and client choice will also influence your earnings. But don’t overlook your power, as a freelancer, to up your income via your power to set your own rates.
Naturally there are limits to what the market will tolerate and how much you can realistically expect – and you must be prepared to justify your rate. How? By:
- Pointing out politely to any quibblers that your rates must cover any type of leave you need to take, professional development costs and the cost of workspace utilities and equipment.
- Proving your expertise, experience and/or ability to meet that urgent deadline they have, do that tricky research or travel to that awkward place during unsocial hours.
Of course, there are downsides to freelancing too; it’s not the best choice for everyone and it’s a life change that should be considered and prepared for.
However, if you’re motivated and have the confidence to be your own business, you too could enjoy these freedoms and still earn enough to keep the wolf – and the bailiff – from the door!