Replying to client emails out of an industrial cafe, waking up at odd hours, and dropping everything for month-long vacations - this surely sounds like a career dream come true.
The idea of becoming a freelancer has become so romanticised these days, it’s easy to forget that it’s not necessarily the most suitable career path for everyone.
How about being a freelance marketer working with huge brands? Going down the freelance route comes with its share of risks and challenges that no one likes to talk about. Before you think about jumping onto that bandwagon, consider these pointers to decide if it’s really your cup of tea:
Are you confident about your skills?
When bound to a desk job, you’re often limited to the creative possibilities of your client’s briefs and budgets. As much as you’d like to add a touch of your creative impulses into the work you produce, you’re more often than not better off taking the instructions from them.
Freelancing gives you that additional freedom to pick clients whom you resonate best with. You choose projects and brands you feel are important or best represent yourself, while building your personal brand alongside.
But before you begin, you will first need to possess a level of confidence in your creative abilities to be able to effectively sell your services to potential clients.
Are you disciplined?
When freelancing, you’re essentially your own boss. You are in control of every aspect of your career, ranging from your work hours to your vacations. While circumnavigating the office politics and the daily morning rush, this level of freedom holds you accountable to every work-related activity.
With no managers breathing down your neck and bothering your with deadlines, can you still be disciplined enough to take care of that by yourself?
Can you make this a sustainable option?
In the comfort of an office environment, you are likely to enjoy a stable monthly paycheck looked after by hardworking accountants and administrative staff.
When transitioning into your own freelance adventure, you become your own boss, secretary and accountant all in one. From slow-paying clients to project dry spells, there’s always something that can limit your source of income. Beyond delighting your clients, you can no longer look past the administrative side of things involved in your day-to-day work.
Have you thought about a strategic way to counter this trend? How would you make yourself more attractive as a freelance candidate so you have a constant, stable stream of income?
If you’re not ready to deal with all of that just yet, you might want to consider sticking it out for a little longer, until you’re ready to head out and carve a name for yourself.