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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

    Freelance Writer

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

    We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

    You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

    Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

    Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

    1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

    Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

    Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

    You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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    Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

    Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

    2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

    Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

    Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

    3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

    Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

    How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

    Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

    Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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    Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

    4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

    It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

    With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

    If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

    Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

    Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

    5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

    Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

    However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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    Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

    If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

    With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

    Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

    6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

    The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

    You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

    A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

    By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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    • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
    • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
    • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
    • Is this aligned with my passion?
    • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

    Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

    7. Be Prepared to Let Go

    It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

    Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

    If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

    When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

    Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

    We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

    The Bottom Line

    Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

    More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

    Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

    Reference

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