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Being A Full-Time Freelancer Is Not A Dream

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Being A Full-Time Freelancer Is Not A Dream

I love being a full-time freelancer, but it would be a stretch to call it a total dream job. For example, a lot of luxuries you don’t even consider as an employee aren’t included in the full-time freelancer package. Worse, many of the things that you may think of as benefits of being a freelancer can actually be negatives. Here are 6 aspects of being a full-time freelancer that aren’t always positive or true.

1. You create your own schedule.

You’d think being a full-time freelancer means you have total control over the hours you work, but that’s not exactly true. Your clients are probably going to want to call you or at least correspond via email, right? Well, they’re likely doing a more typical workday, which means in order to talk with them and to not leave them waiting until the next day for an email, you have to be available to them on their schedule. And, even if you do get to pick your own hours, that might not be as appealing as you think. A 9-to-5 workday offers a sense of structure, and an employer monitoring your progress means you will definitely be at least semi-productive. There are no such guarantees as a full-time freelancer, which could get you into big trouble.

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2. You work independently.

Sure, you don’t have to deal with annoying co-workers, but every full-time freelancer should know that when you’re working on your own all day, every day, things get a little lonelier. Try to attend more career events to get the chance to network and look for opportunities to socialize more often with non-work friends. Be warned, though, that those friends are probably on a regular work schedule. That’s another reason you might want to work during the common work hours, too, even if you pick your own hours.

3. You get paid more for being productive.

Usually as a full-time freelancer you’re getting paid per assignment, not for working a certain amount of time. That means productivity pays off. The quicker you complete an assignment, the more you make per hour. Which sounds great! But you probably underestimate how many hours you’re not being productive at work. Make sure that the rate you charge clients is sustainable enough to compensate for the time you’re not working on assignments.

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4. You’re your own boss.

Being your own boss is a dream that never really comes true. Whatever their title, your boss should be the person who’s paying you. If you’re a full-time freelancer, that probably means you have a lot of bosses. You now serve a lot of different masters, and they all have different expectations of you that you have to keep straight. Even worse, it’s more important to keep all your clients pleased with you, because it’s a lot easier to let you go than to fire an employee. As a full-time freelancer you don’t just have one employer you have to keep moderately happy; you have a number of clients who you have to keep very happy. Keep that in mind when you’re considering the freelance life.

5. You negotiate your own pay.

This sounds exciting until you reach negotiations. A full-time freelancer can tell you that not everyone is qualified to negotiate a good or even fair rate out of clients. You can read about how to become a better negotiator, yes, but in a lot of ways it’s a natural skill that you either have or you don’t. After a while as a full-time freelancer you’ll likely start to envy your friends who don’t have to constantly negotiate how much they’re making for their hard work.

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6. You get to do a lot of different kinds of work.

You’d think that being a full-time freelancer would mean that your work is more diverse. And that can be true. If you’re a writer you might be writing about a lot of different subjects in a number of different fields. However, an experienced full-time freelancer can tell you that the most successful freelancers tend to stick to specific niches. It’s better to write about one subject expertly than to write about a dozen proficiently, even if it’s more fun to do the latter. This is another thing to remember if you’re considering becoming a full-time freelancer.

Featured photo credit: janet lackey via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2021

20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

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20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

“Please describe yourself in a few words”.

It’s the job interview of your life and you need to come up with something fast. Mental pictures of words are mixing in your head and your tongue tastes like alphabet soup. You mutter words like “deterministic” or “innovativity” and you realize you’re drenched in sweat. You wish you had thought about this. You wish you had read this post before.

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    Image Credit: Career Employer

    Here are 20 sentences that you could use when you are asked to describe yourself. Choose the ones that describe you the best.

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    “I am someone who…”:

    1. “can adapt to any situation. I thrive in a fluctuating environment and I transform unexpected obstacles into stepping stones for achievements.”
    2. “consistently innovates to create value. I find opportunities where other people see none: I turn ideas into projects, and projects into serial success.”
    3. “has a very creative mind. I always have a unique perspective when approaching an issue due to my broad range of interests and hobbies. Creativity is the source of differentiation and therefore, at the root of competitive advantage.”
    4. “always has an eye on my target. I endeavour to deliver high-quality work on time, every time. Hiring me is the only real guarantee for results.”
    5. “knows this job inside and out. With many years of relevant experience, there is no question whether I will be efficient on the job. I can bring the best practices to the company.”
    6. “has a high level of motivation to work here. I have studied the entire company history and observed its business strategies. Since I am also a long-time customer, I took the opportunity to write this report with some suggestions for how to improve your services.”
    7. “has a pragmatic approach to things. I don’t waste time talking about theory or the latest buzz words of the bullshit bingo. Only one question matters to me: ‘Does it work or not?'”
    8. “takes work ethics very seriously. I do what I am paid for, and I do it well.”
    9. “can make decisions rapidly if needed. Everybody can make good decisions with sufficient time and information. The reality of our domain is different. Even with time pressure and high stakes, we need to move forward by taking charge and being decisive. I can do that.”
    10. “is considered to be ‘fun.’ I believe that we are way more productive when we are working with people with which we enjoy spending time. When the situation gets tough with a customer, a touch of humour can save the day.”
    11. “works as a real team-player. I bring the best out of the people I work with and I always do what I think is best for the company.”
    12. “is completely autonomous. I won’t need to be micromanaged. I won’t need to be trained. I understand high-level targets and I know how to achieve them.”
    13. “leads people. I can unite people around a vision and motivate a team to excellence. I expect no more from the others than what I expect from myself.”
    14. “understands the complexity of advanced project management. It’s not just pushing triangles on a GANTT chart; it’s about getting everyone to sit down together and to agree on the way forward. And that’s a lot more complicated than it sounds.”
    15. “is the absolute expert in the field. Ask anybody in the industry. My name is on their lips because I wrote THE book on the subject.”
    16. “communicates extensively. Good, bad or ugly, I believe that open communication is the most important factor to reach an efficient organization.”
    17. “works enthusiastically. I have enough motivation for myself and my department. I love what I do, and it’s contagious.”
    18. “has an eye for details because details matter the most. How many companies have failed because of just one tiny detail? Hire me and you’ll be sure I’ll find that detail.”
    19. “can see the big picture. Beginners waste time solving minor issues. I understand the purpose of our company, tackle the real subjects and the top management will eventually notice it.”
    20. “is not like anyone you know. I am the candidate you would not expect. You can hire a corporate clone, or you can hire someone who will bring something different to the company. That’s me. “

    Featured photo credit: Tim Gouw via unsplash.com

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