Becoming a Freelancer - is it Right for You?

by Waller Jamison - Date: 2007-04-03 - Word Count: 466 Share This!

Freelancing in their existing career is the most straightforward way for many people to ease their way into self-employment. You simply offer your services, doing the same type of work you do for an employer, but on a contract basis. This can be done part-time at first whilst keeping your full-time job, a strategy which will enable you to test the market and discover whether or not there is enough work for you to go freelance full-time, before you actually take the plunge.

Obviously, some professions lend themselves more readily to freelance work than others. Typical examples are book-keeping, accountancy, business consultancy, journalism and with the prevalence of the internet in business these days, copywriting, content writing, as well as web design and programming are all skills which are very much in demand. There are many sites which allow individuals to advertise their services or let customers bid on projects. This gives you the opportunity to pace yourself, by finding a relatively easy project to start with and then building up to more demanding contracts as you gain experience and confidence.

One of the reasons that companies prefer to use freelance workers is that it is much more cost effective than employing someone full-time. They can also shop around for the best deal and don't have to use someone again if they aren't satisfied with his or her work. As a freelance, this has benefits for you too. You can choose when you want to work, how much you want to take on and can bid only for the projects that you really want to do. However, you will not have the security of sick pay and paid holidays and will have to pay your own taxes.

If you are planning to freelance in your current field, you will have contacts who will be able to help you build your business and you will have an understanding of the business based on your years of experience.

However, it is important to remember that when you were employed, you didn't have to worry about many aspects of the business, such as record-keeping, buying stationery, answering the phone, negotiating pricing and dealing with complaints. So it is important look at the full range of activities involved in self-employment and to be sure that you have the right temperament to go it alone. Generally speaking, you will have to do many of the mundane tasks yourself until you can afford an assistant. This will mean that you are working for many more hours than those required to complete the project itself.

It is a good idea to try freelancing on a very limited basis to start with and if you enjoy it, you can then gradually increase the amount of work you do with a view to eventually becoming fully self-employed.

Waller Jamison 2007

Related Tags: freelance jobs, becoming a freelancer, freelance opportunities, work freelance

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