Not everyone is cut to work as a freelancer. Some people simply prefer the comfort and stability that comes with a full-time job. If you’re considering taking the leap from working full-time to being a freelancer, know that the road ahead might not be as smooth as some might paint it to be. As a result, it is important that you determine whether working as a freelancer is your cup of tea at the very onset.
Do You Have What it Takes?
Before you decide to take the plunge into the freelancing world, ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you comfortable working with different clients and holding multiple responsibilities at the same time?
- Have you successfully completed self-driven projects?
- How well do you work with deadlines?
- Do you have the required discipline to put in hours without any supervision?
- Does your expertise in your given skill set warrant people wanting to use your services?
Why Do You Want to Freelance?
Shifting from being a full-time employee to working as a freelancer comes with its fair share of hurdles, which is why it is important to establish what you expect in terms of success. Answering these questions should set you on the right path.
- Why do you want to become a freelancer?
- What type of work do you wish to do?
- How many hours per day or week do you want to work?
- How comfortable are you with meeting clients in person, should the need arise?
- How much money do you hope to earn?
With the answers in hand, you will be able to define your own criteria for success. You may even choose to make a list of “must haves” and “good to have”, and use it when determining what kind of projects you would like to handle.
Are Your Finances in Order?
A full-time job brings with it a steady source of income, as well as perks such as paid leaves and health insurance. As a freelancer, it is doubly important to pay attention to your personal finances. If you have an existing loan or mortgage, take a close look at your financial situation, and formulate a plan to keep up with repayments. If you have a partner, discuss your accounts in detail so you get an indication of whether you can afford to take the leap in the first place. If required, consider building a buffer before you make the move.
Run a Testing Phase
Once you break down your skill set as well as you can, try to take on side projects while you’re still working full-time. This will acclimatize you with having to network, working on multiple projects simultaneously, as well as working in non-conventional setups.
During the testing phase, determine how much you wish to get paid per hour. In most cases, you may turn online to find out how much freelancers from different realms charge per hour on average. You may then set your own rate depending on your experience, your proficiency levels, as well as where you live.
Building Your Business
If you’ve survived the testing phase and want to carry on working as a freelancer, you have to spend time and effort in networking and scouting for potential opportunities. You may turn to online platforms designed especially for freelancers to find new leads. Some of the top websites for freelancers include Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, and Peopleperhour.
Working With International Clients
One of the main differences in working with domestic and international clients is how you get paid. When you work with international clients, you stand to lose part of your earnings by paying currency conversion fees, and you might also have to deal with unfavorable exchange rates. In such a scenario, opening a multicurrency account might work well for you.
A typical multicurrency account gives you bank account details from different countries, so you may hold funds and transact in multiple currencies. Consider this – you live in the U.S. and have clients in the UK, Germany, and Japan. If you have a multicurrency account that gives you bank account details from the UK (GBP), Europe (EUR), and Japan (JPY), you may receive same currency payments easily and in a cost-effective manner. Examples of popular multicurrency accounts for freelancers include the World First World Account, the TransferWise Borderless Account, and the Payoneer Global Payment Service.
Moving from a full-time job to a freelancing career may seem daunting at first, but a little perseverance, dedication, and hard work can take you a long way. Given that the possibility of moving back to a regular job always exists, there is no real reason why someone who is so inclined should not take the path to working as a freelancer.