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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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    Published on September 16, 2020

    12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

    12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

    Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

    Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

    Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

    Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

    Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

    Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

    1. Organization

    When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

    When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

    Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

    To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

    To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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    2. Flexibility

    You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

    Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

    For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

    To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

    To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

    3. Collaboration

    As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

    Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

    To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

    To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

    4. Poise

    Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

    When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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    What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

    To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

    To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

    5. Communication

    Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

    When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

    To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

    To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

    6. Good Computer Hygiene

    Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

    Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

    To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

    To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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    7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

    Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

    Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

    To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

    To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

    8. Respecting Feedback

    In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

    Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

    To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

    To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

    9. Project Management

    Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

    To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

    To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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    10. Staying up to Speed

    Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

    To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

    To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

    11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

    “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

    To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

    To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

    12. Teamwork

    Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

    Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

    To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

    To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

    Final Thoughts

    Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

    More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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