IF YOUR FULL-TIME CAREER LOOKS OR FEELS LIKE THIS, YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER FREELANCING.
However you feel about freelancing, it would be ignorant to deny it’s current, and likely continuous, rise in popularity. If you feel positive about this shift in the workforce, this article is for you. For employees on the edge, whether because they’ve been intrigued by freelancing or they think their current employer may be cleaning house, this article may be the kick in the ass you need. We don’t want to force you into an uncomfortable situation, but if you identify with any of the issues we bring up in this article, then perhaps you follow our advice. If you disagree with our case and decide to stay an employee, that’s fine too we don’t need you!!! Kidding, we just want to help people find their best path.
WHERE, WHEN, & HOW
People by and large become freelancers for the lifestyle, not the financial benefit. In fact, many accept some financial loss in exchange for the freedom. It isn’t about money for many freelancers. This is probably the biggest draw for you; imagining a life in which you work wherever you want at hours you set yourself. Getting up one day and wanting to live in Rome one week and Taipei the next, squeezing all your work hours into three or four days so the rest you can spend exploring. This is of course a spectacularized dream. Freelancing isn’t easy, nor is traveling like that. You probably won’t want to live that way, forgetting about how practical it even is. That being said, most people who freelance say they would never go back to a full-time life, so it’s at the very least manageable. There may even be a sliver of that nomadic life you dream about. More likely, the joys will be getting up and going to bed when you like, working where you like (meaning the kitchen, the bedroom, or a coffee shop), and not having to commute any longer. These benefits may not be as glamorous as waking up in Paris, but they could be more satisfying than you imagine.
A LACK OF PASSION
Most studies say that, for the most part, freelancers are more satisfied, prouder, and more fulfilled by their jobs than their full-time counterparts. The reason being is that a freelancer’s career is far more likely to be in line with the things they actually want in life. If your interest or commitment to your current job has been waning, or you can no longer see yourself at your place of work years down the line, then this might be you. Becoming a freelancer doesn’t necessarily mean totally changing your line of work. In fact, that isn’t extremely common. Generally full-timers who become freelancers stay in a similar or adjacent line of work. “Well then why would I leave my full-time job?” You don’t have to hate your full-time job to leave. More often it’s a “death by a thousand cuts” situation. Maybe you like your craft but you keep having to do it for clients you don’t like or in an industry you don’t enjoy or with co-workers you find annoying or managers you don’t agree with. There is a purity to freelancing. The buck stops with you. Of course this means that all the blame is put on you as well. If you like that kind of responsibility, or your passion for your work is too strong to be compromised, then take freelancing seriously.
Freelancing isn’t only about doing the work you want, but for whom you want. A common reason for feeling disillusioned with your current work is the people you’re doing it for. You may love graphic design, but if all your time and skill graphic designing is done for big beverage conglomerates, that could dull your passion. If you have genuine connection, and feel loyalty toward your clients, that could reinvigorate your love for your craft. As a freelancer, you can decide the types of companies you work for, the size of the company, the industries they’re in, and the kind of people who run them. Your relationship with a client could be purely transactional if you like. It could just be another job. On the other hand, it could be incredibly personal and end up lasting many years. You get to decide, that’s the whole point. Many freelancers might even get to a point where they largely stop looking for new work. They’ve found a handful of clients they love and spend all their time working with them. There isn’t a member of your team whose job it is to correspond with clients. That’s all you, so you can imagine how much more personal your relationship with clients can become.
These are just a few of the more common reasons a person might choose to become a freelancer. If you felt these things applied to you, then perhaps a big decision has just been made easier. If you understand these reasons but still don’t feel spoken to, there are plenty of other reasons why freelancing may be the right career move.