These days it seems like everyone is thinking about going freelance. The attraction of the ultimate freedom that this lifestyle can offer is hard to resist.
Many people today are choosing freelancing as a lifestyle and career choice. It is a wonderful way to achieve a balance between your work and the rest of your life. For people who are looking for flexibility in their work, there is no better option than freelancing for them to gain control of their time. Some people choose a freelancing career because there is a good reason they can’t work fulltime or work outside their home. That might be because they have young children at home or because they have a handicap that limits their ability to work on the outside.
But, by far, the majority of people choosing to freelance today do so because they are trying to achieve that magic life/work balance.
I have been freelancing for over 20 years and I cannot recommend a better work option if you want to both work and have a life!
Some of the other reasons people choose to freelance today are:
1. They are looking for variety in their work. Often, in a regular job, you can be pigeonholed into doing only certain jobs every day. Over time, this becomes very boring, and even worse, you start to realize that all of your talents are not being used. This can be extremely frustrating and is the cause of a great deal of job dissatisfaction. With more and more business being conducted on the Internet and the technology advances that make it easy to work from almost anywhere, freelancing has become a goldmine for anyone who is looking for good opportunities and better projects, not to mention higher paying work.
2. Another advantage to freelancing is that you can take on more than one job at a time so you don’t get bored. For example, you might be designing a website while taking on another assignment to write a feature article.
3. There is a fast turnaround of projects. Because most freelance work has a time limit, the freelancer can finish the job and move on quickly to a new project.
4. There is more flexibility and freedom. Many people love the freedom that freelancing gives them to control the work they take, including the time, place and the manner in which they will complete the work. Although there are times when you may enter into a contract to do the work, you still will not have an employer-employee relationship. If you hate being confined to a cubicle for eight or more hours every day, freelancing will give you a new freedom. You will be able to work during the time of day that works best for you and, above all, you will be your own boss.
Also, because of the freedom of your work schedule, you will have more time to pursue other interests and spend more time with your family. In my case, I love to work early in the morning and that gives me time to spend with my family during the day.
5. You will probably earn more and will be able to save more. As a freelancer, you can usually ask a higher rate than you can if you’re working in a regular job. This is because you are being hired for your best skills and talents and that will command a higher rate. Of course, if you ask a higher rate, you do not have to work as many hours to make the same pay unless you want to work harder. Though freelancers make a wide variety of incomes, the arrangement is usually beneficial for most people.
Most freelancers charge either by the hour, the day or per-project. There are others who use a value-based pricing method rather than a flat rate. That is they usually set their prices by the perceived value of their service rather than by the cost of the product or what the price has been historically.
Usually there is an agreement that specifies when payments will be made. Sometimes payment is all upfront, sometimes there is a percentage paid upfront or at agreed upon intervals, and sometimes the payment will come when the project is completed.
6. With the cost of living rising and pay for many jobs no longer keeping up, many people are looking for ways to make ends meet while still pursuing their regular job. Sometimes they are looking for cash to pay day-to-day expenses and sometimes they are saving for a special purchase such as college for the kids or a vacation.
In today’s market, freelancers do jobs ranging from writing short articles to tutoring in foreign languages to website design. Currently, there is a high demand for freelancers on the Internet where thousands of people are posting available jobs.
One of the great things about freelancing is that you can do the work you’ve already been doing but as a sideline. Often the people who are freelancing on the side are working in careers that are creative such as photographers, writers, graphic designers, web designers and many other careers. Often, these people use their creativity to come up with new concepts and then produce them for sale. In addition, people who are creative particularly value the time freedom that freelancing will give them.
Unlike taking a part time job in a store, a freelancer’s work begins when you get the job and ends when you’re finished. That sometimes means long hours to meet a deadline but it also means freedom to determine whether or not you will take that job.
Most freelancers like to accept freelance work on a per-project basis. They will then have a specific amount of time in which to complete it. In most cases, the shorter the deadline, the higher the pay will be. The freelancer then can manage her time in any way she likes as long as the project is finished on time. This freedom is what makes it possible for many people to freelance while still holding regular jobs.
Of course, keep in mind that you have to avoid conflicts of interest and other ethical considerations regarding your regular job. For this reason, you might only want to do the same kind of work that you do in your day job if it is already an established practice for people to freelance. For example, writers for major newspapers and publications are allowed to write for other outlets as long as the publication is not a direct competitor of their company. This is also true for graphic designers. In this case, designers who have contacts will often refer someone they know who can do the job and then the referrer will get a percentage for the referral.
There are many, many new freelancing opportunities today because of the rise of the Internet. In particular, mass media online has created double and even triple the previous demand for writers. There is a constant need to update content to increase readership. Most of the time, these content providers are freelancers.
The Internet has also been a boon for photographers. There are many sites where photographers sell generic photos for a minimal fee. In addition, there are millions of websites on the Internet and they almost all need photos to illustrate the articles that they post.
Web designers, who are needed to update all of these websites, are also enjoying a nice boost of their workload.