6 Things to Watch Out for With a Freelancing Career
Freelancing can be quite a fruitful career if you are disciplined enough to get the job done and have the marketing skills to keep the flow of work steady.
“Freelancing is tough. It can be very difficult, in fact. It can wear people down, making them lose sight of what they used to love because they have to do everything else just to get by.”
― Mason Hipp, The Unlimited Freelancer
Freelancing is a lucrative career option that is now made feasible with laptops and easy access to the Internet. You can follow your passion on your own terms. A freelancer is paid according to the volume of work completed and he/she is free to accept any type of assignment from any contractor or firm.
While one is not tied down by the daily rigors of a regular job, there is a downside to freelancing too. There is no regular flow of work that generates a steady flow of income. Before one takes the plunge to fly solo, it would be a good idea to be aware some of the risks of freelancing:
- Lax professionalism: Since there are no rules regarding work timings, dress codes and workplace guidelines, there are chances of you being lax in your work. This should be avoided at all costs. Meeting deadlines, honoring appointments and delivering good quality work should be a priority for any field of work.
- Biting off more than you can chew: This is a common trap many freelancers fall into. Due to uncertainty about the work flow, some freelance professionals take up too much work at the same time. This bogs you down mentally and affects the quality of work. There may be some assignments you have to let go of in order to give your best to the ones on hand.
- Multiple distractions: This is another very real danger particularly when you are working from home. There are many temptations around that eat into your work hours. Make sure you set clear working hours when no one is allowed to disturb you. Delineate an office space where you can work uninterrupted. Distractions such as social media or even household chores must be avoided. Maintaining a work-life balance is of utmost importance and personal errands must not be clubbed with professional demands.
- Procrastination: This one is the biggest hurdle of freelancing. Since one is one’s own boss, there is a tendency to put off jobs. This is a very real issue that can be solved through willpower and discipline. Even if there is no manager to answer to or appraisal ahead, the freelancer must introduce discipline in order to overcome lethargy and find a way to recharge by taking short breaks. There may be bad days but, those should be compensated immediately.
- Getting too comfortable: In the absence of work being assigned there may be a possibility of slipping into a comfort zone and not taking initiatives to widen your clientele. Freelancing also involves wearing many hats. You are the producer, marketer and salesman of your service. So go out and meet people, make new contacts and build a wider client base.
- Jack of all trades: Since you are on your own, you may have to wear many hats. It is essential to have a working knowledge of the basics such as accounting, repairing or maintaining equipment and so on.
Starting out as a freelancer is creatively rewarding and fulfilling. The freelancer is master of his/her own time and can have a great family life while pursuing a successful career. It just requires courage and discipline.