The 6 Best Things About Freelancing
Guest post by Digital Nomad, David Heiling.
Let’s face it: 2020 has been a year to forget. In other ways, it’s also been a year to remember, to learn, and to adjust.
Many people around the globe have lost their traditional jobs with traditional employers in traditional offices. Employment in the retail, travel, and hospitality sectors are down all around the world. Skilled workers with excellent CVs are having trouble finding work.
Working spaces are not-so-subtlety changing from traditional offices to home offices in kitchens, bedrooms, and basements worldwide.
I was a freelancer before the pandemic struck and have been working from my laptop for more than four years. Over those four years, I have discovered countless things about freelancing that have convinced me I’ll never be an employee again.
If you’re stuck in a job-searching rut and are frustrated at the number of application rejections you are getting in light of COVID-19, or just want a change of pace from the traditional 9-5 office setting, here are the seven best things about freelancing that will make you drop everything and start searching for a freelance gig.
You can work whenever you want
Some people like waking up at 5 a.m. with a cup of coffee in the silence of dawn, opening up their computers, and getting a head start on everyone else. Other people like snoozing with their partner, dog, or cat until 12 noon, staying up until 2 in the morning.
At a traditional job, no matter what kind of person you are, whether it be early riser or night owl, you must have your butt in your office chair at 9 a.m., or else you face criticisms or being tardy, unreliable, or unprofessional.
With freelancing, office pressure goes right out the window.
Freelancing is very often project-based. There are, of course, some exceptions and caveats to this generalization, but there are millions of jobs that allow you to complete your work whenever you’d like. Even with deadline-based and driven work, you can finish it whenever you damn well please so long as the job gets done on time.
Some typical project-based freelance roles include copywriting, social media management, SEO, content strategy, life coaching, and business consulting.
Just think for a moment: What benefits could you gain by having a flexible working arrangement? You could spend more time with loved ones. Take your pup for a walk a few times a day. You could make time for mental and physical wellness in ways you usually couldn’t.
You can work wherever you want
Have you always dreamt of travelling the world? I know I did. Stuck in my job at an office five days a week, I watched the beautiful weather pass me by outside my cubicle window every day for six years.
Then I quit.
More than 50 countries later, I have been able to see and experience things I thought only possible in my wildest dreams. This could be you.
It’s easily possible!
But you don’t have to have aspirations of being a world traveller to appreciate the freedom to work where you want.
Traditional office spaces, on average, allow little to no home office availability. For the routine minded person, this could be a net positive. For people who like the freedom to accomplish tasks in places that inspire the most creativity, working from home or the road is an exciting proposition.
With many freelancing agreements, the work scope includes working from a place of your choice, as long as you have reliable access to a computer, phone, and internet connection.
Note that having a remote position while employed is different than freelancing.
Take charge of your future
As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You have a range of skills that make you appealing to potential employers that don’t want to pay you benefits, an hourly wage, or a salary.
If you are looking to gain skills or make a career change, freelancing can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door.
You can invest in your own education by signing up for massive open online courses on Coursera or Udemy. These economically pleasing platforms give you access to affordable education and include individual courses, professional certifications, and even master-level classes.
Learn or brush up your skills and understanding of a specific career field that piques your interest. It’s incredibly hard to know what you want to do for the rest of your life when signing up for university. If you are interested in a professional career that you’re not currently in, applying for short-term freelancing positions is a great way to prove your knowledge and worth.
Perhaps you’ll even get a recommendation out of it.
While in a specific role for a company, your duties are sometimes limited to certain constraints. You’re boxed into your position, even if you feel like you have more to give in a different area or department within the business,
With freelancing, you can choose your own professional adventure.
Nobody is dictating your workday but yourself
Onboarding a new client at 9:30 a.m.; meeting with the team at 10:30 a.m.; a 1-on-1 with your boss at 12 noon; lunch at 1 p.m.; cross-department brainstorming session at 3:30 p.m.; and finally, project deadline at 5 p.m. Sound familiar?
Even if you are not directly related to a specific team, work function, or project, employees can be dragged into meeting after meeting all day long five days a week. This can often cut down on efficiency and production.
When you’re a freelancer, you become your own boss.
If you like routine, make one for your new role. If you want to let creativity hit spontaneously, surround yourself with people and items that promote that creativity.
Want to schedule an hour of exercise every day? You can! How about twice weekly lunches with your best friend. Done.
Blast music out loud. Dance in your pyjamas. Make pancakes in the middle of the day.
It’s all up to you.
If your work isn’t filling your time, choose between searching for more clients or enjoying the rest of your day.
Want to make your weekend Tuesday and Wednesday instead of Saturday and Sunday? Ensure your projects and deliverables are done through Thursday and head out to the beach, mountains, forest, or visit your family for a few days.
You save money on daily activities
Having a salaried position is excellent for the pocketbook. Employers usually give some kind of benefits package, and with guaranteed money and coverage comes a sense of stability.
Ponder for a moment how much money you spend going into a traditional office. First, the fuel to get there and back whether you drive or take public transportation.
If you’re not packing a lunch, you’re spending money on food from the cafe down the street or the vending machine down the hall. If you’re like me, you’re also chugging at least two cups of coffee per day to make it through that 3 p.m. feeling.
Have children at home? I’m betting you’re not taking them to the corporate office. That’s more money for daycare services — ditto for pets.
Clothes. You have to look the part, don’t you? How much money do you think you spend on new clothes every year?
Having a freelance job with a work from home arrangement eliminates a large portion of these daily expenses.
You can decorate your office any way you want
Do you get restless sitting around all day? Invest in an excellent adjustable standing desk to increase blood flow, regenerate brain cells, and increase your mood and efficiency. Love a comfortable desk chair you can roll around in? Get one!
Freelancing is a great way to personalize your workspace any way you want it.
Find a dedicated workspace in your apartment or house and start ideating what you’d like your workspace to look like.
Go minimalistic with a simple setup including a computer, a few monitors, a superb keyboard, storage, a desk lamp, and a plant. Or, jam-pack your space with everything that makes you happy, from whiteboards and sticky notes to plush toys and stress balls.
The choice is yours.
You no longer have to read through a full company HR book telling you what you can and cannot bring to the office.
The goal is to create a space that you will enjoy coming to. This boosts your mood and happiness level when sitting down for a day at the office and inspires you to get work done.
Ready to check out job opportunities?