Freelancing is one of the go-to ways of working at the moment because of the pandemic, but it’s actually been gaining traction in the past several years. And yet, freelance work is not for everyone. Hence, here are 5 Signs That Freelance Work Might Not Be For You.
What Does Freelance Work Require?
Before considering the signs that could signal that you aren’t ready to become a freelancer, you first need to understand what freelance work will require from you:
- Uncertainty and Instability: Freelancing means you will need to be finding your own clients and getting paid by them. This, in turn, means it all depends on your own efforts and luck, so you won’t be getting a stable salary unless you have a big enough client base.
- Freedom of Choice: On the other hand, being a freelancer means you will be your own boss which means you will be making your own choices. In fact, you will be free to make whatever choice you want, but you will also need to be ready to face the consequences of that.
- Working Alone: Working alone can be both a good and a bad thing. If you are used to going solo in other spheres of your life, you will probably enjoy working alone. But if you are a team player, you will probably feel isolated and quite miserable.
- Managing Your Own Finances: If you are already managing most of your finances and you know what you are doing, this transition probably won’t be a big deal. But if you aren’t used to managing your own finances, you can expect to have a hard time with them.
- Learning and Self-Education: When you are a freelancer, you need to be flexible and able to adapt to new situations. Quite often this means that you will need to learn new things and self-educate to be able to understand what you should do next. If you have learned something before successfully, this won’t be an issue. But if you are used to getting help when learning something, self-education will probably be challenging.
1. You Are Attracted to the Security of Regular Employment
First and foremost, if you are attracted to the security of regular employment, going freelance is probably not for you.
As mentioned earlier, freelancing comes with a lot of instability which means you will need to be able to adapt to different unexpected situations while also bracing yourself for possible hardships.
It’s a lot to take and not everyone is ready for so much responsibility suddenly being put on them.
Of course, your success as a freelancer largely depends on how much you do. How much you invest (both in terms of resources and your own energy) will determine the possibility of your success, but freelancing success also often depends on luck.
There will be many times when you simply can’t control the situation or influence it in any way. No matter how unfair its sounds, it’s true, so all you can do is be prepared for the worst.
If you feel like you need to feel safe and secure with your job receiving a stable income, you will need to pass on freelancing because it’s not for you.
Alternatively, you can work part-time on a regular job and take up freelancing as a side job that you can then try to develop by growing your client base and maybe even transitioning to freelancing entirely.
2. You Aren’t Very Strong in Organization and Productivity
Secondly, if you aren’t very strong in organization and productivity, freelancing is almost definitely not for you.
It’s true that most people have a really hard time making themselves do things that should be done when they are tired or uninspired, but with freelancing, procrastination can be a real problem because your income depends on how much you do as a freelancer at any time during your week or month.
The problem with the lack of organizational skills is that it’s difficult to develop a habit that will help you get rid of the constant urge to procrastinate. Moreover, productivity can be influenced by a multitude of factors.
For example, if you live with someone (even just a pet), you might find that you will be constantly distracted by them. Getting rid of the distractions is still only part of the job and you will need to change your entire approach to work.
If you don’t like organizing yourself and prefer to have someone supervising you, then you should probably pass on freelancing.
You might want to train yourself beforehand if you do decide to become a freelancer, but don’t just jump into it if you are not sure if you will be able to motivate yourself on a daily basis.
3. You Don’t Like and Don’t Want to Start Small Again
Thirdly, if you don’t like and don’t want to start small again, you shouldn’t consider becoming a freelancer. Quitting your day job and becoming a freelancer will mean you need to start from the bottom and work towards the top all on your own.
Not everyone is ready to just start from zero because this will mean investing a lot of your time, energy, and money into your job before you can see it take off properly.
On the other hand, you might already have some connections that will help you get started with some kind of foundation.
The problem is that not everyone has such connections which means most people truly start from the bottom with nothing but hope that they will be successful in freelancing and determination to make this job work.
After all, luck plays a huge role in becoming successful as a freelancer.
If you think you won’t be able to handle starting from the very bottom, you should probably reconsider becoming a freelancer.
You can still stay at your current job and start working as a freelancer a bit to try and grow your client base.
Then, once you do quit your regular job, you will already have some kind of foundation to support you as you move on with freelancing.
4. You Aren’t Good with Selling Yourself or Your Skills
Another reason why you might not be a good freelancer is if you aren’t good at selling yourself or your skills.
Being a natural salesperson will allow you to get more clients and therefore grow your client base and start earning a steady income.
If you aren’t able to sell yourself and your skills, you will likely struggle a lot at the beginning which could drag on for a long time and will ultimately lead you to just give up on the whole thing.
Of course, you don’t need to be a natural salesperson per se – you can always learn the necessary skills. But the problem with this is that once you do learn the skills, it might be too late already by that point.
As mentioned earlier, you will need to be flexible to be able to adapt to the different situations you get into, but this might not be enough. Being a salesperson is one of the key characteristics a freelancer should have.
If you aren’t good with selling yourself or your skills, you should probably pass on becoming a freelancer.
If you do want to quit your job and switch to freelancing, you should first learn how to sell yourself and only then do the deed once you are ready for the change.
5. You Don’t Like Being Isolated and Are A Team Player
Last but not least, if you don’t like being isolated and are a team player, becoming a freelancer is not the route you should take.
As discussed earlier, becoming a freelancer will mean that you will be sitting on your own all day which can be quite depressing to anyone who is used to working in a team or at least used to being surrounded by multiple people.
Some people think they can handle being alone for an entire day every working day, but once it comes to doing the job, they feel unmotivated and lonely.
It’s not easy to determine whether you are one of such people, but it’s a good idea to first try out working on your own on the weekends to see if you can manage being a solo player.
If you don’t feel like you can handle being isolated and you prefer working in a team, you should definitely reconsider turning to freelancing.
Alternatively, you can try some of your local co-working spaces and see if you feel better sitting in a public space like that while doing something on your own.
If you can manage that, you might become a good freelancer.
All in all, freelancing is a great option for many people, but it can also be a counterintuitive move for those just not ready to start working as a freelancer. Before you make your final decision, consider the five signs listed here and decide whether you really need to become a freelancer.
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