Now we know that many of our readers are not, in fact, freelancers or independents. Many of you are still in corporate life or employees. This article is for you, because you may be considering the freelance life and, from where you are watching, it may seem like it’s a great escape plan from the job you are in.
Freelancing is brilliant. We can’t promote it enough. Being your own boss, being able to work from anywhere, and dictating your own terms and hours is really appealing. But freelancing is definitely not for everyone, and we’ve seen many struggle needlessly. So this guide is for you.
When you start freelancing, it’s like stepping out over a cliff. You have no idea if it’s going to work, and, for those of you who are leaving regular employment to go freelance it’s especially difficult. You will have become used to a regular salary and all the other financial and social benefits that go along with being an employee.
So – do you stay with employment, or take a chance on self employment, taking the decision to live life your way and accept the risks involved? Well, look out for these signs that you are ready to freelance and then decide if you want to take the plunge.
1. You don’t believe that job security exists
Like many others, you’ve come to realise that there’s no such thing as a secure job. Even those organisations that used to represent a ‘job for life’ are shedding jobs and for many who have managed to hang on in employment work life is far from a bed of roses.
You’ve understood this, and the idea that you can take control over your life and your work is much more appealing to you than sticking it out.
2. You’ve lost that loving feeling
Are you one of those people who throws themselves into a job believing that you can make a difference, only to find yourself disillusioned within 6 months of joining? Then join the club.
Many of us have applied for jobs with the greatest of intentions, lured in by the recruitment spin which makes it look like you will have lots of autonomy, responsibility and opportunities to earn.
But you’ve realised that isn’t the case, and in fact you are treading water every day just trying to match your values to those of the organisation you work for.
Trust us. You won’t get it back. And whilst you could move to another job which might reignite that fire, you are more likely to have fallen out of love with the idea of employment.
3. You believe you can make a difference
While some people relish the thought of being steadily employed until they retire, you’ve started to see your job as a death sentence.
You know you have a calling. You might not know what it is yet, but you know you won’t be able to respond to that calling until you have the flexibility to take your own decisions.
4. Your hobby is more important than your job
You may have been investing time and money in a hobby that helped you achieve some kind of balance in your working life. But perhaps recently that hobby has become more important than your job.
You may also have started to see it as your business, and you’ve begun making a little money on the side with it. You may even have worked out how to make it into a small business.
Well now’s the time. If you recognise any of these signs, then perhaps it’s time to take a leap of faith. We can’t guarantee you’ll make lots of money and have eternal happiness, but the signs are that you’ll be much happier than you are now.