The charm of freelancing is hard to resist – it promises you a good life, where you work on your own terms. But what’s better still is the fact that you get to do exactly the kind of work you enjoy. However, if you have never freelanced before, you will probably be in two minds about what the future holds for you. To help you decide, we’ve put together a set of questions you need to answer before you take the plunge into freelancing.
Why do I want to do freelancing?
The first question you need clarity on is why exactly you want to do freelancing. If your reasons include scenarios like ‘I feel exhausted with my job’ or ‘I do not like my boss’, these reasons simply do not suffice. When you analyze the reason for stepping foot into the world of freelancing, think of yourself as an entrepreneur. You need to vet the idea in light of all perspectives and not only against your creative ambitions.
Am I unable to what I want in my current job?
To do freelancing, earning more money is a good objective, as is exploring your passions and interests. In terms of economics, however, you must analyze whether you can explore your interests in your current job. Can you take up new tasks that help you take a step towards your personal goal? Can you apply your strengths to win a role that is more in line with your passion?
Financial stability is more important than what it is credited with. If you can manage to move towards your interest while getting a steady salary, you know that you have the best deal in hand.
Can I do it better than a company’s offerings?
When you become a freelancer, keep in mind that you have to compete with already-established names in the industry. Why would prospective clients give you their project as against a full-fledged company with the best resources and talent?
A good indicator to this question is how you are faring at your current job. Do you think you drive a considerable portion of your company’s revenue? Do clients specifically ask for you to be on their projects? Chances are that if your answer to the above is ‘Yes’, then you are ready to freelance. If not, it is advisable that you take some time till you get there, for if you are unable to do it in a company with the support of a team, you may find the going tough as you venture out alone.
Do I have a market for the kind of work I intend to do?
Just as we mentioned above, when you are stepping out to be a freelancer, think of yourself as an entrepreneur. IF you are going to work on a niche area, do you have a relevant market? Finally, everything boils down to the mantra of demand and supply. While you may be the best in your work, there may not be a market that acknowledges and rewards you for your talent. And before you quit a stable job, it is important you understand the dynamics of the industry you aim to venture out into.
Am I sure that I can depend on this vocation for a living?
Quitting your job and following your passion is definitely an ideal situation. But more often than nor, it is impractical. If you want to be a freelancer, being self-reliant is key to success. If you are not motivated or committed to your passion, you may find it hard to make freelance work for you.
How am I going to actually start?
If you have decided to move into freelancing, then you are going to need a great place to start. And it is here that your network will come of use. While there is a school of thought that suggests that your workplace makes for a great beginning, only you can vet the merits of this proposition. Are your colleagues genuinely happy that you have moved on and beyond? If not, going to your workplace may lead to further complications.
Freelancing, like every other profession or line of work, has its own pros and cons. The key to unlocking its potential lies in identifying whether it is the perfect fit for you or not. The questions listed above give you a practical means of approaching your options and leading you into freelancing if it will help you exploit your talents and abilities.