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50 Reasons To be A Freelancer

50 Reasons To be A Freelancer

Over a year ago, I ditched the boring safety of the cubicle for a weirdly wonderful life of a freelancer, digital nomad, solonepreneur, location independent employee or whichever other term you’d like to use. The road was rocky with loads of turns and twists, yet I have never regretted my decision.

As any career, being a freelancer has it’s ups and downs. Being your own boss gets pretty frustrating some days and your paycheck may not be as stable as back in the office days. However, you get the perks of choosing the projects you’d like to work on, ditching the routine and managing your time more efficiently. For all the doubting folks in the offices out there, here are 50 more reasons why you should consider going freelance.

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    1. Location independence.  No strings attached. You can live and work from anywhere. Say, renting a gorgeous villa with a pool at Bali for a month, will cost you thrice less than a tiny studio in NYC. Nomad List gives a fair overview of living costs and facilities for digital nomads all around the globe. This point was crucial for me as I was hoping to relocate to France to be together with my partner, whose job also requires a lot of travels.

    2. Flexible working hours. You don’t need to pretend to be working when you have nothing to do just because your boss needs you to be at the desk. Work on your own terms during the hours you’ve chosen.

    3. No more Monday blues. You can work on Mondays…or can not. It’s totally up to you.

    4. No more commuting. No time wasted in traffic jams or next to someone smelly and pushy on the tube.

    5. Less bureaucracy, endless paperwork and email chains. Waiting till your boss gets an approval from his boss, who gets approval from the CEO who is constantly busy. You are your own boss. There’s no need to seek everyone’s approval, except for a single client you work with. Pushing and implementing your ideas gets simpler.

    6. Healthier lifestyle. You can now go to the gym or jogging whenever you like. You have time to cook healthier lunch meals and stop eating at odd hours. Besides, the golden rule of being a happy freelancer is to maintain proper work/life balance. After all, you quit the job for the sake of having more personal time, not working hours.

    7. No annoying colleagues, gossips at the kitchen, weird office politics or spending the whole day in your headphones as Joanna from the next cubicle has the urge to spill out all her break up details over the phone loud.

    8. Set your own rates. Jenna needs 2 hours to write a 500 words copy, when Miriam needs just 45 minutes. Both of them earn 20$ per hour. If you are Miriam, going freelance is your solution of getting more pay for being more efficient. But Jenna’s shouldn’t get discouraged too! They can just charge a flat rate based on their expertise.

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    9. Set your own deadlines. Just quote the time you will need for the project wisely.

    10. Choose the projects to work on. Do what you are passionate about. Write the stories you believe in, not those that were imposed to you. Choose clients and companies that share the same values with you. Your life becomes more rewarding and you start feeling proud about what you do.

    11. Professional growth. As a freelancer I quickly realized which skills are high in demand and which job sectors are hot right now. Adjusting your skill set can be pretty simple as you have more time and access to dozens of free or paid educational resources, mentors and coaches. You don’t have to wait till you boss graciously agrees to pay for that training program.

    12. Becoming versatile in numerous professional areas is the result of your investment in self-education, plus a few extra hundreds to your paycheck. Say, traditional print media still offers a better per word rate, it’s new digital media that accepts more freelance contributions. Businesses are striving to find writers who already know the blogging basis and are capable of producing potentially viral copies, doing minor design and coding tasks, while handling social media as well. The more you know – the more you are worth.

    13. Creating your own routine. No mandatory 6 pm Thursday meetings or 3 pm briefs. Or starting work at 9 am sharply when you are absolutely unproductive. Set your own rules and work during the hours when you feel the most productive – some say it’s 6-8 am, whereas others (like me) get to the work frenzy after 5 pm.

    14. The power of saying no. How many times have you thought it would be a total waste of time, but still said “yes” because you were obliged to? As a freelancer you have the right to say no to things that are obviously time-wasting and projects you don’t like.

    15. Working with nicer people. You can’t choose your colleagues, but you can choose the clients you work with and people on your team.

    16. Better working environment. You have a comfy chair and desk you chose and enough space for all your stuff. And the power to control room temperature, lightning and fresh air inflow.

    17. Bigger earning potential. Work hard – earn more. The world is your oyster and you can decide how much projects to take this month and how much money you’d like to make.

    18. Vacation when you like to. Had an insanely productive month? Take a break for the next one and travel somewhere cool. Because you don’t need anyone’s permission to do so!

    19. More security. As a freelancer you are the captain of your boat and you know where are you heading. You won’t be caught off guard with the news about staff cuts.

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    20. Taking advantage of foreign currencies. You can charge your clients from the UK $20 per hour, but I’m sure they don’t mind paying you £20 either. Win-win.

    21. Plenty of work around. Starting out may be a bit difficult, but once you are on track and have a portfolio to show and a reputation to speak for yourself, get prepared for a little avalanche of emails in your inbox from clients who have seen your work somewhere or got referred by their mates.

    22. Rising confidence. I wouldn’t believe I’m capable of making a living as a freelancer till I started doing so. People I’ve worked with told me how good I am and how great my services are. That lead to even more gigs I’ve managed to score as I believed in myself.

    23. Freelancing is one step away from entrepreneurship. Once your income stream is steady, consider expanding into a limited company or hiring a few team members to provide bigger, better and faster service.

    24. No awkward performance reviews. I never understood the point of these “performance review” conversations. Either I do my job well and meet the goals or not. What’s the point of wasting everyone’s time on this?

    25. Learning to network like a pro. You have emails and chit chats with CEOs and entrepreneurs you have always thought to be way above your league. Besides, the word of mouth brings loads of new clients to you all the time.

    26. You won’t get bored as there are so many things on the plate to tackle and multiple projects to hop on.

    27. Less sick days as you don’t have to sit in the office next to the obvious influenza type.

    28. Spectacular portfolio you can be particularly proud of and impress any employer with if you ever decided to go back corporate.

    29. You receive credits for all the work whereas corporations are often guilty of reducing the employees input and awarding all the accolades to the manager/team etc.

    30. Home office tax relief. Pay less taxes if you work from home.

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    31. No dress code. Yes, you can work in your Pjs if you feel like today and save thousands on clothes.

    32. Feeling challenged all the time by conquering new professional peaks and cracking difficult projects efficiently.

    33. Develop personal projects for fun, not profit. To contribute to the community, boost new trend or just make someone’s life better.

    34. Money saved on childcare and your kids actually see and play with their mom or dad more often.

    35. Be an inspiration for someone and show that anyone can work on their own terms without starving and get paid for doing what they love.

    36. More time for hobbies. You can finally master French, learn to play the guitar or become a better photographer.

    37. You work with people, not for people which is a huge difference in attitudes and overall satisfaction of the job done.

    38. Less stress. I did not say any stress, but there’s no yelling boss at your cubicle or a grumpy manager criticizing your work in public. You don’t freak out because you are late and don’t agonize over an impossible deadline.

    39. Becoming an expert as people want you to solve their problems. Plus, you can share your knowledge with others by writing a book or starting a mentorship program.

    40. Going global as you know have the chance to work with people all around the globe from LA to Tokyo. Just don’t get confused with different time zones.

    41. Rewarding yourself for good work. Done awesome this month and went beyond the original goals? Treat yourself with something nice like a festive dinner or a new gadget you’d been drooling over. It’s way cooler than hearing a brisk “thanks” from you boss.

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    42. Work the way you like. Get a stand desk, stay in bed, sit on a bench in a park. No one’s around to judge the way you like to get things done.

    43. No fines. For being late, being caught watching cat videos on Youtube or cursing out loud.

    44. Expanding your creativity while working on different projects, learning new things from your client and thinking of new ways of generating more income by making less efforts.

    45. Learning to cope with failures. Something didn’t work out. It happens with all of us. At least, you know it was solely your responsibility and you can analyze the mistakes and avoid them in the future. On the bright side, you’ll walk away with new experience at hand.

    46. Becoming a pro negotiator. You are so good at emphasizing your strength and showcasing your talents. You know when to ask for more and when it’s better to keep your expectations lower. You have a sense for paying clients and can talk nearly everyone into long-term cooperation.

    47. Adapting your work to your lifestyle. You can work during day hours while your kids are at school, or get things done early in the morning to spend the rest of the day any way you like. Or you can travel and work in hotel lobbies, airports and basically any other place with decent wi-fi. Your work schedule does not define your life. It’s the opposite.

    48. More options to build passive income streams. Create a paid podcast series, publish an ebook or run a paid course. If you shoot cool videos in your free time, become a Youtube affiliate. Also, there are numerous ways to monetize your blog if you have one.

    49. Your hobby can be your business. Writing used to be my hobby. Now it also brings me a steady paycheck each month to fund my other major hobby – traveling.

    50. Nothing is stopping you! If you are not sure whether freelancing is for you or not, just try it part-time. The risk are minimal and there are high chances you’d like to do it full time.

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    Elena Prokopets

    Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

    Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

    Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

    Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

    Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

    Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

    Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

    1. Make Time for You

    If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

    Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

    Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

    Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

    For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

    By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

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    2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

    Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

    Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

    When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

    It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

    Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

    3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

    According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

    For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

    If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

    4. Work on Your Personal Brand

    Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

    Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

    What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

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    Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

    Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

    5. Be Accountable

    Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

    For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

    When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

    6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

    All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

    Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

    Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

    It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

    7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

    Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

    It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

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    This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

    If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

    To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

    For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

    You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

    8. Learn to Embrace Failure

    Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

    The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

    In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

    We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

    However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

    Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

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    “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

    9. Build Your Resilience

    Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

    Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

    Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

    In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

    Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

    10. Ask for Help

    It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

    No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

    My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

    1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
    2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
    3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

    Final Thoughts

    You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

    Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

    More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

    Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

    Reference

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