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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 January 13, 2020

    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

    Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

    Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

    Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

    Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

    Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

    How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

    The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

    You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

    Physical Signs

    Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

    It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

    In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

    Mental Signs

    One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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    I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

    Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

    • The tension in your neck
    • Difficulties with sleeping
    • Unable to concentrate
    • High anxiety
    • Depression

    If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

    Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

    Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

    The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

    Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

    Desire for an Increase of Salary

    The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

    At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

    Overnight Decision

    Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

    Rejected for a Promotion

    I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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    Bored at Work

    Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

    A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

    • How long have you worked in your career?
    • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
    • Do you receive recognition?
    • Can you consider working in a new department?

    If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

    How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

    I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

    One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

    It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

    A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

    You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

    • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
    • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
    • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

    How to Make a Career Change Successfully

    The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

    1. Write a Career Plan

    A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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    You can learn how to set your career plan here.

    2. Weigh Your Options

    If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

    You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

    3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

    It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

    A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

    • Economic factors
    • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
    • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
    • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
    • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

      A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

      4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

      A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

      • What is required to be successful in the role?
      • What certification or educational development is needed?
      • What are the challenges of the role?
      • Is there potential for career advancement?

      A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

      Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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      5. Research Salary

      Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

      It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

      6. Be Realistic

      If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

      For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

      Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

      7. Volunteer First

      A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

      Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

      Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

      8. Prepare Your Career Tools

      I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

      • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
      • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
      • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
      • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

      Bottom Line

      It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

      Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

      More About Career Change

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

      Reference

      [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
      [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
      [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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