Freelancing is now taking up more than what people might have imagined in the past times. A lot of people are now working as freelancers, depending only on the income which they receive from such work, and there are those who accept working on some freelance projects in addition to the full time jobs they already have. We won’t argue about how much working as a freelancer is an important thing, especially for photographers, graphic designers, and writers, because they are the ones who should work hard in order to reach to as much audience as they could and make people view all their work. But in some cases, freelancing is considered not right for specific types of people; so you should know whether it fits you or not.
Do you think freelancing is good for you?
There are different personalities found in this world and not all of them could fit in the same position and not all of them could do the same job, and that is exactly the same with becoming a freelancer. When you think about the different jobs that could fit an introvert and how they might not be applicable for an extrovert, you should also think about freelance work in the same way and realize that in some special cases, it will not work out correctly with some people.
The question here is; how could you know whether you are that person who could turn into a freelancer and ditch your full time job or not? Or how could you know whether you are the one who can just add a little bit of it to the routine of life or just forget all about it? There are some important questions to ask yourself before you take your final decision about taking a specific freelance project or else keeping yourself at the same company, doing the same thing without any distractions. These questions should be related to your personality, your abilities, and the type of job you might be doing.
Before you decide on the idea of becoming a freelancer, you should ask yourself:
- Are you curious enough?
Freelancing is all about curiosity because it is the thing that will push you forward and make you more excited to know more and learn more from your clients. When you work in a company or have your full time position in an organization, you learn from your coworkers and from your leader, but when you are alone, you learn from yourself and by yourself, and that is exactly what curiosity is needed for. When you are curious to know more, you will run after information in order to be at your best when you submit your work to your client. Curious people are also those who consider every single chance they receive to interact with a client as another chance for them to know more about this client and thus build more connections and have a wider network.
- Are you self-confident enough?
Being a freelancer is like having a business of your own; you are supposed to market for yourself and attract some clients to your work in order to make them consider the idea of working with you, but you will never be able to do such a thing without being self-confident enough. Building your self-confidence comes from believing in what you do and how far you can reach, that way you will believe that making mistakes is your chance to learn and learning will eventually lead you where you want to be. One of the excuses we always hear people say when they want to refuse a specific project is that they don’t have enough confidence to go for it, but those people should understand that confidence is not a choice, but it is something that they are supposed to work hard in order to build.
- Are you flexible to work with different types of people?
Freelancing means that you are going to do different jobs and work on different projects with different types of clients who have different requirements; all these differences call for your ability to be more flexible, to deal with each client according to the rules that would best suit both of you and not according to some guidelines you have once written for all your dealings. A freelancer has the chance to break the rules and change them according to the needs of the clients. One of the things that the freelance world asks from its people is to adapt to the changes that happen around them; if you have never imagined yourself working with a specific program for example, but then realized that it is what people need the most, then you should change and start adapting yourself to it.
One of the famous examples about the changes that freelancers are asked to deal with is when they have to accept the editing that happens to their pieces when they decide to write some articles for different websites. Any freelance writer, writes by his/her own skills, and although he/she puts in consideration the different styles of the website, sometimes they are not what the client exactly wants, so his/her writings turn to be edited at the end.
Being flexible means that you should adapt; adapt to the surroundings; you should adapt your services, your clients, your prices, and even the way you package your products, according to the needs of the society at the moment.
- Are you able to communicate effectively with different people?
Communication is not only about knowing how to interact with other people verbally and non-verbally, and it is not only about your facial expressions and the use of your body language, but it is more about knowing and understanding the person you are dealing with is order to know what is considered appropriate and what is not from their own point of view. Part of being a freelancer is being a good communicator, someone who can deliver the right meaning through the right ways and by using the right words. All the different freelance jobs that you might do will place you in different situations and make you deal with different people, and might even place you in situations where you have to handle your anger and not lose your temper; all these things will never happen without good communication skills.
- Are you self-disciplined to handle your deadlines?
Freelancers are self-employed people, they are the ones who choose the projects to work on and the tasks to do; they are also the ones who should manage their bills, negotiate with the client if needed, and handle all the other business tasks such as the taxes and the contracts. But in addition to these business related tasks, there are also other important things that need a self-disciplined person, such as his/her ability to meet the deadlines and know all of his/her responsibilities in order to meet them so they could keep their clients happy and keep good connections with them.
- Can you handle working alone?
A lot of people might tell you that becoming a freelancer or doing some freelance work from home is best for those introverts; those creatures who try to make as minimal interaction with people as possible, and although this is considered a true thing, but there are still other people who might fit in these freelance positions as well. One of the other important questions to ask yourself before you accept the idea of becoming a freelancer is whether you have the ability to work from home without having any other employees who can have their lunch with you or who can be there when you need a couple of minutes as a break or not.
If you can’t handle working full days without even interacting with anybody, then you should forget about the idea of working as a freelancer, or else, try to find one of those places that offer freelancers a space in which they can work but while having others around them.
- Can you negotiate your rate as you go up?
There is a difference between working as a freelancer and working for a company; when you work for a company, you receive a fixed salary on a monthly basis, you receive insurance, and you sometimes even receive paid leave, but when you work as a freelancer, you receive nothing from the above, you only get what you work for and they usually depend on your rates. Negotiation is important in order to raise that rate when you gain some experience overtime. When you spend more time in the field, you gain more skills and become more professional at what you are doing, which means that you work on improving your reputation and this is important to start raising your freelancing rate.
In order to increase your rate, you have to set higher ones for the new clients that you receive, and every time you get other new clients, raise the rate a little bit more.
- Can you effectively manage your time?
In addition to all the things that you are supposed to deal with and manage effectively, your time is just one of them. Again, working as a freelancer means that you will work by yourself and for yourself, and this means that you should manage your business requirements as well as manage your time effectively. Time management should give you the ability to divide your time on all the different tasks correctly in order not to forget about some and focus on some, and in order to submit everything on the right deadlines. Time management also gives you the chance to know whether it is Ok to accept a new offer and project or to refuse just because you will not be able to turn to the client on the day of submission.
- Can you motivate yourself to work?
One of the very effective sources of motivation in any workplace is the teamwork. Working among a team always gives you the chance to become more creative, and that is for different reasons, one of them is the ability to build some new ideas on the ones which your teammates have already suggested; building one idea over another always leads to something totally unique at the end. But when you work as a freelancer, especially those online freelance jobs that might not even call for a meeting to have a brainstorming session with your client, the situation becomes different, and you should work on the idea of self-motivating yourself in order to stay creative and submit good work.
Working as a freelancer is a changing point to take; you will leave everything behind and you will adopt a totally different lifestyle, so before you take your final decision, you should make sure that you are making the right one; the one that would fit you, your abilities, and your personality.