In today’s world, having a stable job and working your way up the career ladder for 40 years to reach seniority along with a healthy wage is no longer a priority to many millennials. People nowadays want freedom and to be their own boss. Many people look down the self-employed route, but this is more common within trades such as plumbers and electricians once experience and qualifications have been met.
Freelancing however requires a certain skill that companies look to outsource rather than hire a full time person for. This includes roles such as consulting and marketing.
No one desires to work a normal 9-5 job anymore and to have someone tell them what to do. This shift in the way we work is referred to as the gig economy. It’s a new world where people offer their skills and services to companies for short term projects or ongoing work that requires a few hours per week. Before you think about going down this route, there are some things you need to consider:
Risk: Taking the leap and becoming a freelancer is a big risk to take. It’s not to say that you don’t have the necessary skills or experience to be successful at what you do, it’s that so many other people are doing the same thing. It’s a dog eat dog world out there on your own, and with no regular monthly income and someone to pay you when you get sick, life can feel stressful.
Support: You are now a one-man band. You no longer have HR or finance experts to turn to for support when you have a mishap. If you are working for a company on a freelance basis, they won’t offer you personal development or invest time and money into you as you are not a member of staff to them. Despite this though, there are many networks for freelancers out there who operate so that you can find like-minded people within your profession as well as associations who you can contact for support.
Money: Until you build a strong client base from recommendations and referrals, you will feel the strain on the bank account as you work your way through the first few months. Your time is money and you cannot afford to be sat around a couple of days a week with nothing to do. Like we said before, you don’t have the luxury of a regular wage landing in your bank account every month on the same day, so be prepared to organise your finances and invoice people correctly to ensure you are not out of pocket. You will of course be making more money due to the hourly/day rate you can charge as a freelancer, but be sure to do your research first and look at what your competitors are charging in the local area so you don’t out price yourself.
Sales: You are now all departments for your one-man business and that includes finding the work. You need to be proactive and be on the lookout for someone who requires your skills even if they don’t know it themselves yet. You need to be confident in selling yourself and your skills to your clients so if this is something that you aren’t comfortable with then we suggest you practice.
It’s important that you consider all the factors first before quitting your jobs, burning bridges and running off into the sunset with no clients or no idea of the direction you will go next. It’s common for freelancers to have a couple of clients that they have built up over time whilst holding down a permanent full time job before they make the transition. Failing that, RedBox Recruitment are always on hand to find you a new job if the new venture doesn’t go to plan!