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7 Signs You’re Ready for a Full-Time Freelance Career

7 Signs You’re Ready for a Full-Time Freelance Career

Let me guess: You have a steady day job and you are earning well, but something inside you says there’s more to work than the daily “nine-to-five” grind.

You heard about freelancing jobs and how it can replace your current income (or even surpass it). You thought, “Wow, wouldn’t that be great?”

So you went ahead started freelancing — part-time. You landed a client and you got paid for your first freelancing gig. It felt immensely satisfying — and you want to do it again.

And then you think: “What if I did that full-time?”

It’s an exciting concept: The image of you sipping a cup of coffee in the kitchen table while working on your laptop is more appealing than the daily commute to the office.

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You start to think about more reasons that freelancing might work for you. No demanding boss, no long hours, no dress code and certainly no need to leave the house. Most of all, you do the work that you love.

So are you ready to take the leap? Here are some ways to help you find out:

1. You have enough money in the bank

Your savings account is pretty decent, and it’s enough to last you six months to a year in case freelancing didn’t work. This is important even when your freelancing career starts to take off.

In a freelancer’s work life, it’s normal to have a feast-and-famine cycle. Certain times you will have loads of work, and other times there will be very little or no work at all.

Either way, a financial buffer is always a good thing.

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2. You have a few clients in the pipeline

When you leave your day job, your income stops. So if you already have clients that pay you for your freelance work, and you’re sure you can depend on them, it’s a safe situation to begin freelancing full-time.

If you have a few clients at the start, it will certainly make your first few months of freelancing less stressful.

3. You are extremely unhappy with your day job

You don’t just leave your job because you don’t like it. But if you’re at a point when you’ve lost motivation, stopped being productive and find yourself indifferent to your company’s goals, then you might be better off leaving.

Ask yourself if this feeling has something to do with wanting to start freelancing full-time, and the answer will most probably be a resounding “yes”.

4. The idea of freelancing excites you more than it scares you

If you feel excited and motivated to make freelancing your full-time career, then it may be what you need to do. You just have to do it.

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You know that it can be a risk, but it’s one you’re willing to take.

This is when you know you’re serious about doing something that you love: You have no problem leaving your comfort zone into the uncertainty that awaits — in the hopes of making your dreams come true.

5. You have years of experience in your field

As a new freelancer, you face tough competition with others who have been doing this for a long time. You might have a tough time landing clients at first.

One way to stand out is to show that you’re already an expert in your field or niche before you started freelancing. This acquired knowledge will set you apart and give you an edge, even without a full portfolio as a freelancer.

6. You know it’s not going to be easy

While you’re attracted to the convenience of working from home, you are aware of the hard work that comes with working on your own.

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You know that being a freelancer means running your own business. You have a plan in place to grow your business and raise your income to its full potential.

7. You have supportive family and friends

Freelancing demands a huge amount of your time. Having friends and family that respect and understand the nature of your work is essential to your success. Your personal life should not distract, but rather empower you to achieve your goals.

Being a full-time freelancer is not for everyone, and there is no need to rush when deciding if it’s for you. Take your time to consider the pros and cons. While it’s great to follow your dream, a practical approach can’t hurt.

Most importantly, only do it if it’s your passion — something you can imagine yourself doing for the rest of your professional life.

Featured photo credit: Eutah Mizushima via images.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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