Entering a job market is a challenge. Competition is skyrocketing regardless of the industry, and after analyzing your competitors, it seems that at the same age, they somehow have gained three times more experience. It’s bloodshed out there, but you have to be the one to take the crown.
What’s the plan? Well, when everyone shows hard technical skills, it becomes vital to have soft skills that not only represent your professional performance but also shape you as a person and a team player. Skills that you can’t learn unless you had to earn them with your blood, sweat, and tears. And a good way to gain that experience is by jumping into freelancing pool.
Freelancing as a Career Choice
There’s no better time than now to shift your career path, and freelancing is an excellent start. However, not anyone can do freelancing. The choice takes a lot of preparation and the right attitude to fight any obstacles that might occur, and they will happen, trust me. Yet more and more people are willing to take risks and start their freelance career. Some do it as a side income, and some shift to a full-time job. Whether you are one or another, the freelance workforce is rapidly growing.
The gig economy is thriving. It is estimated that by 2020, 43% of the USA workforce will be freelancers. But why is freelancing so appealing for a new generation of workers?
To begin with, freelancing offers flexibility that nowadays everyone is craving for. Now, you can work from the tropical Thailand beach as long as the WIFI connection is good. Online courses and other resources are as accessible as never before, and you can master skills without leaving the house. Not to mention, online job platforms publish hundreds if not thousands of new freelance jobs every day.
However, self-employed has many flaws, and for it to become a full-time business, you have to work tirelessly. On the other hand, struggles result as valuable business and life lessons, which can also be useful for the further full-time career. Therefore, I believe that every professional striving for excellence should try freelancing at least once in a lifetime. And here is why.
Benefits of Freelancing for Your Career
Task and Time Management
Time is money, and no one knows it better than a freelancer. When you work for a company, there is a schedule you are required to follow, and tasks to complete. By the end of a month, you get a paycheck and can stop worrying about the income. It’s quite different when you are running a freelance business. In the beginning, there are moments when you have to work during weekends or past the 9-5 schedule.
Regardless of your niche, freelancing requires discipline and strong time management skills. Without proper monitoring, you will lose not only the track but also promising opportunities. Nothing than missed deadlines can destroy your reputation as a professional. After a few mistakes, you will learn how to distribute your time correctly, what is your most productive time, and on top of that, you will try tens of thousands of time and task management applications, only to pick a few that fit your schedule perfectly.
When you look at a job market, time and task management often appear at the top of the list of required qualities. What’s a better way to substantiate it than your own business.
At the beginning of a freelance business, your income is unstable. One month you get more than you planned and the next one you can barely pay bills. The temptation to spend when the paycheck exceeds your expectations is vast, but it’s necessary to take the bigger picture into account. As a freelancer, you have to handle your taxes, healthcare bills, and other financial duties that usually rely on a company. Not to mention, the budget for housing, food, and leisure.
After many times when you burn with erratic spending, you begin to search for ways to secure your finances. In other words, freelancing helps to change the perception of money, which is practical not only for dealing with your personal budget but also later on in your career.
You learn how to spend money in a way it would guarantee you a comfortable living not only for one day but for a more extended period.
Break the Networking Ice
Although there’s a common belief that freelancers are outsiders of the society and many of them are stubborn introverts, the reality is quite different. For freelancers to thrive in their field, they have to put themselves out there. And by out there, I mean daily cold emails to potential clients aren’t enough; you also have to participate in networking events and meet prospects who could lead your business further.
Networking events are significant to generate new leads and expand your client list, and at the same time, it makes you more assertive. This trait is vital for those who want to achieve greater things in their professional lives. Networking is fundamental, and companies compete to land talents who are not afraid to make valuable connections.
The way we work is rapidly transforming. We have to learn how to adapt to these changes and be as flexible as possible. Mastering one’s career requires many hours of steady work and effort. Challenges as freelancing can boost your future success and bring your professional goals to the next level. As business management and networking are becoming fundamental skills for any professional, freelancing can be a surefire to success. On the other hand, it can also transform into a prosperous business.