For those of you thinking about taking the plunge

If you are one of the many who are quitting their conventional 9 to 5s to work for themselves as a freelancer, then you might want to know what you’re getting yourself in for. Of course, setting your own hours and dictating workloads are the biggest selling points for most, but don’t get it twisted; working as a freelancer takes a lot of dedication and determination.

Here are just a few of the many highs and lows for you, just in case you wanted to weigh up your options ahead of handing in your notice.

The Good Stuff

  • You can work anywhere. No, literally. I’ve learnt that as long as you have your laptop and (decent) wifi, you can do just as good a job, if not better, working from a space you find productive. As a result, travel is made much easier, and you can work your deadlines to suit your plans, instead of the other way around.
  • You’ll get to know your local coffee shops well, which can only be a good thing. Best wifi, best latte art, best barista, you’ll know it all. Plus, repeat appearances almost always result in freebies.
  • You’ll be classed as self-employed, which means enjoying extras you wouldn’t get when working for someone else. Need a new computer or set of notebooks for work? All tax deductible.
  • You can choose the hours that you work, which makes it easier to earn around other commitments or family life. Fancy taking the morning off and having a lie in? Just work late into the evening instead.
  • You don’t have to answer to anyone and won’t have to do anything you’re not happy to do. Of course, you’ll have clients and contracts, but you can set your own boundaries and negotiate to suit you. Bye, bye demanding bosses. 
  • There is the opportunity to expand and have it become a business. So, if you’re really ambitious, it could turn out to be a great stepping stone to even larger success.

Now, onto the negative. But just remember: no job is perfect, right?

The Bad Stuff

  • Waiting to be paid an invoice has got to be one of the worst things about freelance life. It can be very frustrating when you know you’ll have money coming in, but you haven’t been paid yet. This is where a secured loans company might come in handy. Be careful with your cash and it shouldn’t be a problem, though.
  • You wear all of the hats when it comes to working for yourself. You’re the accountant, admin person, receptionist, and marketing manager all rolled into one. So be prepared to always have a hefty ‘to do’ list and learn new skills. 
  • There’s no such thing as paid holiday or sick pay when you’re self-employed, so it’s a good idea to get into savings mode and put money aside, just in case. 
  • It can be hard to switch off from work when you work from home. There will always be another email to check or piece of content to write, so being disciplined with your time is key. Set (and stick to!) working hours and create a space in the home that you only go to to work. Of course, living in London can make this nigh on impossible, but if you can, then do it. 

It might take some time to get the balance right, but freelance life really is bliss – if you put the hard work in, that is.



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