It wasn’t so long ago that freelancing wasn’t taken too seriously.
It was seen more as a side hustle, or a non-secure career choice. And then a worldwide pandemic hit — and everything changed.
It turned out that Karen’s 9-5 office job, that she’d been working in for the last ten years, bringing in a regular salary and paying all the bills on time, wasn’t so steady after after all.
If she was lucky, she’d be furloughed in the UK, meaning she’d receive 80% of her salary whilst sat at home watching daytime TV until this all blows over. The not-so-lucky ones might not have a job to return to.
And of course, it wasn’t all rainbows and fairytales for the freelancers either — they lost clients and income streams too. But all of a sudden, we’re all in the same boat (or the same storm at least). Everything is uncertain.
I knew last year I wanted to work from home, but I hadn’t thought about being self-employed. It was my intention to find a cushy PA job that allowed me to work from the comfort of my own bed. And I almost had it.
I went through a rigorous video-interview process with a big American tech firm but at the last hurdle, they just disappeared off the radar. Which was a slight problem as I’d already handed in my notice at my office job – a hefty 3-month notice period which I was then coming to the end of.
Luckily I had a little savings pot which would cover me for a few more months, but I did feel like I’d just dropped myself in at the deep end and it was time to start swimming.
But, a few weeks before my notice period ended, I hit a stroke of luck after chatting to the owner of a virtual assistant agency who had a client for me to start straight away.
And just like that, I was a freelancer.
I started off small — and really enjoyed my days in front of the TV in my pyjamas whilst tapping away on my laptop for an hour or two.
Sometimes I miss those days.
But then slowly but surely, it started to take off.
I picked up clients with my agency, and then after a few months, I started to land my own clients too. All of a sudden, the world was my oyster.
Now, I have both virtual assistant clients and writing clients, and a few months back I realised something else. I had officially earnt more in a month than I ever had at my full-time jobs.
Still not convinced? There’s so many reasons why you should stop thinking about it and just take the leap.
You get to be your own boss
This can be a good or a bad thing as you need to have self-discipline. I go through phases of being my own great boss by getting up early and being super organised so that I end up having more time for myself. Other days, I snooze my alarm five times, roll out of bed, and crawl half-heartedly to my laptop.
But, the best thing is, no-one is breathing down my neck telling me I can’t do that or else I’ll get fired. As long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter. I’d just feel better if I washed my face and put proper clothes on some days.
You get to choose who you work with
One of my top reasons for leaving my previous role was a particularly toxic colleague who made my working days a misery.
Life is too short to spend half your life feeling uncomfortable or unhappy. Being a freelancer means you get to choose the people you work with, and if things aren’t working, you don’t have to stick around. You move onto the next client.
You have control over your job security
Sure, you might lose clients along the way, especially in times of uncertainty. But those uncertain times also bring opportunity and the next client is just around the corner.
In the long-run, it will be you who has complete control over your earnings and your future. Plus, no-one can fire you when you’re your own boss.
Gone are the days of unpaid over-time
I was fairly lucky in my previous job that I didn’t have to do too much over-time except when working on a criminal trial which required an overnight stay. There were times however where I would have to stay late in order to get work done, but I wasn’t getting paid. It was ‘part of my job description’.
That’s not a part of the freelance lifestyle. Every minute you work, you’re earning. And you don’t work unless you’re getting paid.
Your earning potential is unlimited
It’s not going to happen straight away but soon enough you’ll end up with more work offers than you can handle. You might decide to go hard one month and take everything you can get and worry about sleep later, or you might decide to raise your rates.
As a freelancer you can charge more than your employee counterparts because you’re the one meeting all your own expenses. Eventually, you’ll be in a position where you’re working less but earning more than ever before — and that earning potential is unlimited.
You get to do the work you love
If you want to follow your passion, freelancing is the way to go. You get a renewed sense of pride and job satisfaction with what you do and making your clients happy becomes a thrill. You feel more valued because not only do you value yourself more, you also see the value you’re adding to your clients lives too.
It’s you who’s making things happen – and how can you not love that feeling?
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”Napoleon Hill