Whatever your reasons for becoming a freelancer it can be a great career path that offers up a multitude of benefits. Of course, there are disadvantages and drawbacks to freelancing and you must be fully informed of all of the implications of a freelancing career. Remember, it is not all working from your beach office.
What is freelancing?
Freelancing is a form of self-employed work that involves working for another person or company temporarily. You are not typically employed but you may be required to sign a contract setting out the terms and conditions of the fixed-term work you are undertaking. Contracts are normally for a fixed period and freelancers typically enjoy a great degree of flexibility in terms of their working schedule. As a freelancer, you can expect to be your own boss.
Are you cut out for freelancing?
There are lots of pros and cons to freelancing and you will need to be incredibly self-motivated to cut it as a freelancer. You will be your own boss so you will need to be disciplined and reliable enough to source your work and deliver it in line with expectations. Further, freelancing will enable you to take days off when you don’t want to work but remember, you will not be paid for them as a freelancer and this needs to be considered at all times.
Another important consideration is that being a freelancer often means that you do not benefit from many of the regular perks of employment, such as health care, regular pay, paid leave, company pension, and so on. You will have to be sure that you can take the steps you need to protect yourself, your family, and your future financially. You will need to consider self-employed health insurance, a private pension scheme, exactly how you are going to get paid, and whether this will be sufficient to meet your needs. All of these are added stress that you are unlikely to face in regular employment.
Never forget your taxes
As a freelancer, you will be responsible for completing and filing your taxes and failure to do so could have serious consequences. Not only will the accounts rest with you you will need to ensure that you have put aside enough of your income to pay your taxes when they are full due. Failure to do so will not be welcomed by the authorities so if this is something that you deem to be out of your remit then consider hiring professional help to ensure your liabilities are met.
Know your rates
Knowing how much you are going to charge as a freelancer is another important step that cannot be overlooked. You will need to identify your fees and be able to explain how they are calculated. Are you going to charge a flat fee? An hourly rate, a daily rate? Is your fee competitive and consummate with the services offered? Spend some time researching the going rate and ensure that you put your effort into justifying your rates. The better the quality of work and services offered the more your clients will be willing to pay.