Friday, November 16, 2012

Freelancing: A Career, or Just a Part-Time Job?

When some people hear about freelancing for the first time, the aspect that they consider most appealing is not having to work for a boss or employer.

And yet, the majority of aspiring freelancers quit soon after deciding to take the plunge. Usually, these individuals aren't lacking in skills, talents, or abilities. In my opinion, there's only one recurring reason for their failure:

Aspiring freelancers don't take enough time to set themselves up for success.

It's useless to try to soft pedal or sugarcoat the reality of life, especially now that we're in the twenty-first century. Bear in mind that you have to compete with salaried workers in a tight job market. You would need to learn how to negotiate effectively with potential clients.

Another attitude that I notice in most aspiring freelance workers is an apparent lack of discipline. Once you decide to work without a supervisor, you can set your own hours or create your own schedule. Since you don't have to be at the office before 8:00 a.m., it's easy to relax your guard, wake up late, and start your day late. This could mean reducing the hours you should spend working. 

And to be fooled into thinking that you have plenty of time throughout the week to perform your tasks is a surefire way for your career to end abruptly, because if you can't finish a project and fail to deliver it on the date that you and your client have agreed upon, you could earn a reputation for being unreliable.

The situations I mentioned above are just a few of the challenges you have to think about. Temptations are abundant in the life of a freelancer.  

So now is the best time to ask yourself: Do you see yourself fit for this career?

Of course, you don't have to get into full-time freelancing, especially if you have a family to raise and support and a sudden career change would mean difficulty in handling cash flow. And if you have a job, corporate or otherwise, you have the option to freelance part-time.

Keep coming back for more articles.

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