With freelancing come several perks and benefits. As a freelancer you are the boss of your time and work. As a way of working, freelancing enables you to follow your passion as you earn a living – perhaps that is why many college graduates are making the choice of becoming freelancers. However there still remains a huge margin between working as a freelancer and working for a private enterprise. The struggles or challenges a freelancer face are not similar to those of regular employees. It’s important for you to know the problems you have to deal with as you navigate a freelancing career.
1. You know that requirements and demands of employers keep changing
What applied to a certain client before may not apply to your present client. Also as a freelancer you are expected to keep upgrading your skills and never be static. What was applicable last year may not apply now; neither is the terrain of freelancing stationary. Freelancing demands adaptability and growth from the freelancer.
2. You understand working with different time zones
There is an opportunity for freelancers to connect with employers and clients from different parts of the world in this era of internet and technology. This opportunity presents interesting experiences; from dealing with a whole set of culture different to yours, to meeting new persons from different backgrounds. Yet there is a challenge for the freelancer to adjust to different time zones. There are demands of being awake at odd hours because you want to satisfy a client or even attract one.
3. You face the reality of bad clients
There will be difficult clients to deal with as a freelancer. Not every client you attract will be pleasant. Some demand too much work for little pay while others are reluctant to pay on time. A freelancer is at risk in the face of a bad client because many clients do not like to pay upfront.
4. You have to tackle money management
To keep your career going as a freelancer you must make sure there is more incoming cash than outgoing cash. Freelancing requires that you are an excellent money manager as there are high and low times during your career. This is why it is necessary that the freelancer keeps working hard to land paying gigs to keep his freelancing business going.
5. You try to balance work and life
It becomes a dangerous good when you have flexible hours and conditions to work with as managing your personal life and work can become challenging. There could be a clash in time with when you desire to visit the gym and when you need to complete a task.
6. You have to keep hunting for clients
A major struggle for freelancers is getting jobs. Although there are freelance portals like Elance.com, Guru.com and Freelancer.com, competition can be stiff and challenging. Finding clients isn’t as easy as it seems and this could be one of the major struggles of any freelancer.
7. You need to become a Jack of all trades
With freelancing you become the boss of your own business. A freelancing career requires your being able to manage your financials, marketing and interacting with clients. You can only be a successful and efficient freelancer if you can handle a lot of activities at once. Yet being versatile yet efficient can prove overwhelming and cumbersome.
8. You have to meet ridiculous deadlines
Many clients offer a deadline for an assignment or task to be completed. This could stir tension and make you nervous especially if you have so much to do at once.
9. You always stare at procrastination
It is easy for the freelancer to assume that he has a lot of time to accomplish a task and such could be completed later. Procrastination is a killer and could be a freelancer’s worse struggle when managing his career.
10. You have to make real world connections
Beyond the several opportunities available online for the freelancer, landing a paying gig sometimes requires reaching out of your comfort zone. Real world interaction is essential for the freelancer to succeed. For an individual who is not sociable or isn’t an extrovert this could be a struggle.
11. You are a victim of global currency fluctuations
The currency you are familiar with may not be the same the client who is living thousands of miles away is familiar with. In a world of unstable currency rates this could present a challenge to your freelancing career.
12. You have to be a better time manager
Time is not ever enough when you have to revise, review and try to meet with the desire of your clients. The more clients you possess the better you should be with managing your time.
13. You have to battle with different payment methods
In certain parts of Europe, Africa and the world, flexible payment methods like Paypal are not yet available. Payment methods suitable for the client may not be suitable for you.
14. You have to be a better negotiator
Most times clients feel they can take advantage of freelancers through unfair pricing. In a world where it is pretty difficult to land a client, a freelancer has to be a better and more strategic negotiator.
15. You learn to be flexible
Freelancing means meeting to the needs of your client. Sometimes even what you consider fantastic may not be what the client wants. Adapting to a client’s needs will serve your freelancing career better.
Featured photo credit: Young man at home using a computer, freelance developer or designer working at home. via shutterstock.com