Article by Sara Sabin, Founder of ProCircle
The world of work is changing – things are no longer as secure as they once were. There is no such thing as ‘a job for life’ anymore. Company restructures have become ‘the new black’.
Arguably, the best thing about employed is security of income. If that is no longer as stable as it once was, then maybe it’s time to explore other options?
Here are some points you should consider if you’re considering freelancing.
1. Before going full time as a freelancer, do it as a side hustle
It doesn’t need to be a case of either/or necessarily. You could start off doing freelance work as well as your full-time employment (as long as your employment contract does not prohibit such activities). This will mean a few things: you’ll begin to establish a client base, get your name out there as a freelancer, and test the waters. It can also be much less scary than just diving straight into something full time.
Then, once you’re ready to take the leap, you should already have a few clients and the confidence to build up your business.
2. Flexibility is becoming important to you than steady income
Many employers are getting better at offering their employees ‘work-life balance’ and flexible/ remote work options, but there’s still a long way to go. Most people work longer than the standard 9-5 and are on call outside hours answering emails, phone calls etc.
As a freelancer, you generally have a lot more flexibility. You can set your own hours, pick and choose your assignments, increase or decrease your hours, and work around family life and social commitments. As long as you meet your agreed deadlines, you can take the day off. You also have the added benefit of ‘location freedom’. You don’t have to be in an office in a specific location every day.
The downside as a freelancer is you may end up earning less overall (this is a maybe!).
3. You’re bored of office politics
You get it everywhere you work as an employee to varying degrees – the same power struggles and personality clashes to deal with. If extreme, it can be exhausting to deal with.
As a freelancer, you can mostly avoid these politics. You’re not tied to a particular client and you are able to pick and choose who you work with. Don’t like a client? Move on and find some more!
4. Join a community
Being a freelancer can be lonely – it’s harder to form the strong work friendships that characterise permanent employment. If community is important to you, then investigate what communities you can join, whether you can do collaborations or partnerships with other freelancers, or whether there are networking events you can go to.
Even if you are introverted and like having your own working space and no distractions, it’s important to maintain human relationships within a work context!