Over the years, freelancing has become an increasingly popular career choice. In fact, as of 2020, almost 60 million Americans do freelance work! Freelancing can be a fantastic career choice, providing an escape from the traditional 9-to-5 grind, but the truth is, it’s not for everyone. Becoming a freelancer is more complicated than you might think, and without the right set of traits and tendencies, you could find it to be more of a struggle than its worth. So how do you know if starting a freelance business is right for you? We’re here to help you discover just that! Read on to learn what it takes to become a successful freelancer.
Which Work Environment Do You Prefer?
One of the benefits of having a traditional office job is that you often become friends with your coworkers. The busy office environment becomes an integral part of your social life. As a freelancer, you’re going to be alone the vast majority of the time. Aside from the occasional client meeting or collaboration, freelancing is a predominantly solo career. If you work best in a bustling, collaborative environment, freelancing might not be the right career path for you.
Can You Manage Your Time Efficiently?
When you become a freelancer, you’re given complete freedom over your work schedule. Instead of having a set eight-hour block of work in the day, you can segment your day any way you prefer. This can be incredibly freeing but also presents a unique—and for some people, wholly unmanageable—set of challenges. The most successful freelancers micromanage their time, ensuring that they’re working an adequate amount every day and getting the most out of their schedules. This requires natural organizational skills and paying close attention to details. Without these traits, you’re likely to find yourself in a constant state of stress with a dwindling bank account.
Comfortable Working Several Jobs at Once?
Let’s say you choose to be a freelance CPA, so you use https://www.taxfyle.com/freelance-cpa-jobs to find your first client. You’re off to a great start! Now, your main job is to help others with their finances. However, you’ll also be in charge of scheduling, marketing, bookkeeping, web design, invoicing, networking, and contract negotiations. As a freelancer, you’re essentially starting a business, which means you’re tasked with all the responsibilities of a business owner. Even if you have the skills to complete your main task at a high level, if the additional duties feel a little overwhelming, freelancing will be more taxing than it is rewarding.
Are You a Self-Starter?
Freelancing is a fantastic career opportunity; you’re sure to feel plenty of excitement and motivation at the start. Over time, however, that initial excitement will fade, and if self-discipline isn’t your strong suit, it can become challenging very quickly. To become a successful freelancer, you have to ignore all temptations until your scheduled workday is done. This will sometimes mean watching the premier of a new show you’ve been looking forward to at a later date or saying no to an invite to the movies with friends. Yes, freelancing allows you to create your schedule, but you must stick to it once you set it.
Can You Handle Uncertainty?
With an office job, as long as you hold your position, you’re guaranteed a paycheck no matter what. This is not the case with freelancing. While freelancing is often a more lucrative career choice than the traditional route, it’s a gamble at the end of the day. As with any new business owner, you’re taking a chance on yourself, your passions, and your skills. There will be moments where it feels like you’re never going to make it—building a freelance career takes time! You have to push through these difficult moments and be comfortable with the uncertainty this career path can bring.
Do You Have Strong Communication Skills?
As we mentioned earlier, you’re in charge of every aspect of your business as a freelancer, including communication with clients. To inspire trust and confidence in your clients, you have to convey confidence and likeability. It doesn’t matter how fantastic you are at your chosen trade. If you’re noticeably nervous and uncomfortable communicating with clients, you’re going to find it more challenging to build your business.
Are You Flexible?
Becoming a freelancer means having the freedom to choose who you work with and who you don’t. If you come across a particularly rude or demanding client, you can politely tell them that you don’t have space in your schedule for their project. However, it’s important to remember that no two clients are alike. Even the most respectful and kind clients will come with their unique requests and requirements. To find success, you have to adapt on the go.
Becoming a Freelancer: A Dream Life
Becoming a freelancer isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. That said, if you have the right traits and skills, it could be the perfect job for you. And if that’s the case, freelancing could allow you to live the life you’ve always wanted! The key is being honest with yourself. The last thing you want to do is jump into a career path that’s even more grueling than the one you’re already in.
Whether you feel that freelancing is right for you or you’re going to stick to a traditional job, take a look at our blog! We have tips for success in any career path you choose.
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