February 26, 2010 Zee

To Freelance or Not to Freelance?

A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long-term.

Fields where freelancing is common include journalism, book publishing, journal publishing, and other forms of writing, editing, copyediting, proofreading, indexing, copywriting, computer programming and graphic design, website design, consulting and translating.


Definitions from Google:

  • freelance – working for yourself
  • freelance – work independently and on temporary contracts rather than for a long-term employer
  • freelance – freelancer: a writer or artist who sells services to different employers without a long-term contract with any of them
  • freelance – mercenary(a): serving for wages in a foreign army; “mercenary killers”
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwnforget this one! lol.

Forget all these awesome definitions. Being your own boss has its drawbacks. ‘The major drawback in freelancing is the uncertainty of work and thus income, and lack of company benefits such as a pension, health insurance, paid holidays and bonuses.

Many freelancers, especially in journalism, regard themselves as having greater income security through the diversity of outlets—the loss of any one of which leads to the loss of only a proportion of income, rather than its totality as with salaried employees.

It is important to note that being a freelancer is not suitable to all people. Being a freelancer requires discipline and self-motivation along with other easier to acquire skills. If the freelancer works at home they are prone to additional stresses, that if not managed properly, could prevent them from earning an income at their profession.’

So the question is, are you among the few who can afford to go freelance? Here are some points to consider before going freelance.

  1. Before you walk away from that steady paycheck, make sure your freelance dream holds up to the reality check.
  2. If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, it’s best to do so because you love your trade – not for the money. Do it because the typical nine-to-five isn’t for you, or because you can afford to live on less than what you make when working for somebody else. Just don’t do it because you think it’s an easy, hassle-free way to get rich.
  3. Independent working isn’t for everyone, so try and get a feel for it before you make the leap. The switch isn’t as hard as you think, but make sure you’ve got plenty of freelancing experience.
  4. Make sure the time is right and you have all ends covered. Prior to taking the freelance plunge get yourself and your business organized!
  5. You need to have a strong discipline to be a freelancer. Set your work times and stick to them. It’s easy to let work overflow into your daily life and work shouldn’t become your life. Make a clear cut separation between your career and your personal life. Also, be proactive and stay on top of your game by constantly learning new things and evolving. Finally, sit down and think really hard if this is what you really want and what your reasons are for this. Are they valid, do they make sense and are they achievable?

Being freelance is a lot of work and seriously requires discipline. I’ve worked in an typical 9-5 job for 2 years before I chose to go freelance. And going freelance is the best thing that has happened to me. But it’s not for everyone. All the points listed above are from seasoned web designers who have gone freelance. The word here is ‘freedom’. Every web designer/entrepreneur, cherishes his freedom. If freedom is all you need then freelancing might not be for you. I became a freelancer for many reasons, but mainly because I loved web design and needed to be my own boss, invest in professional exams, and generally charge what I feel I’m worth. A typical 9-5 job wont give you that.

So before you go freelancing, think deeply. Are you ready?



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