Things you Need to Know Before Moving to Freelance
Sometimes, when you are tired from office work and see attractive pictures of people who call themselves “digital nomads” you want to become one and switch to freelancing. Who wouldn’t want to spend time traveling to exotic countries working from a laptop lying on the beach by the ocean?
In the beginning, this lifestyle is more resembling an obstacle race than chilling in the sun, so here are some key points to note before making a final decision:
It may take time to find the first client
Let’s face the truth if you are at the starting point of your career, empty profiles and a lack of records on previous projects may scare away potential clients. Sometimes, it may take a month or two to get your first offer but no need to lose hope! The cool thing is that big freelancing websites like Upwork are encouraging newbie freelancers by showing their accounts higher in the application list, so you will definitely get an order. But before it happens, you will need to learn how to better manage your finances, work for positive feedback, and focus on building a reputable profile.
You will need to manage your taxes on your own
Prior to accepting the first contract research the information on how freelancers pay their taxes, otherwise, there’s a chance to receive the fine, and often the amount is much higher than the earnings from the first contracts. freelancing you will need to learn all about the tax system for freelancers in your country to do everything by the book. Sure, it’s possible to outsource accounting right away, but the truth is that when you are a beginner, the possibility is that you will not be able to afford it, thus for some time you need to become your own accountant.
Work-Life Balance is a key
Often freelancers face professional and emotional burndown just because they forget one important thing: they are running a marathon, not a sprint. When the number of projects is growing, it’s easy to ignore time for sleep, taking time off, and vacations. In the beginning, you indeed may produce more, but it does not work in the long run. In order to stay productive, you’ll need to balance your urgent projects and personal life, and even work less to achieve more, so include rest time into the schedule and book at least 1 day off per week to renew your resources.
Everything needs to be documented
Freelancing often means a lot of back-and-forth discussions, so miscommunications will be a common thing. They may apply to everything starting from the deadlines to pay an increase for the additional time allocated to a project. When you work with freelancing platforms, usually, if there are no documented proofs, you won’t be protected. It’s not always about bad clients, sometimes people who work with freelancers for the first time may not take into account all the peculiarities and later it leads to misunderstandings. That’s why it’s critical to discuss all the terms beforehand and reflect all the changes in the written form for your own peace of mind and for cases when these records are required for disputes.
Being a freelancer is not an easy task, it’s quite the contrary. Most of the time, it’s about combining several roles like a marketer to promote your services, an accountant to plan the budget, and even a lawyer to defend your rights. Not even mentioning your main sphere that requires constant upskilling to be on top. Sometimes you’ll find yourself being busier than in the office, but the flexibility that will allow you to choose projects, clients, working hours, and place, as well as setting up the pricing you want, is definitely worth it.