Thinking about going freelance but feel nervous about ditching your current job? Maybe you’re anxious that the risk is greater than the reward? We’re here to dispel any uncertainty you might be having, and to help set you on the path to unlocking your potential.
There are many perceptions surrounding the positives and negatives of what it means to be a freelancer. Below are some common myths – debunked – that spring to mind when people try to define freelance working.
MYTH: Freelancers never get paid
Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you never get paid, don’t get paid often, rarely get paid, or even make any money. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a freelancer you’ll be able to invoice clients to request a sum of money up front, with the total being paid upon contract completion.
Further compounding this myth is the illusion that freelancing is not a reliable source of income. However, freelance work can often be a steady source of work, during unsteady times.
Whilst it is true that you will not always be working on several projects at once, or even one project, but if you’re known for doing a good job in your chosen field, chances are you will have built up a consistent roster of clients who will readily return for work.
MYTH: Freelancers don’t have to deal with people
As a freelancer you will always be talking to people. This could be through making new contacts, retaining clients or making sure that people you have worked with/for want to keep returning to you for further work.
Excellent customer service and understanding your clients’ needs are vital – and forms the foundation that will allow you to build up a network of clients.
MYTH: Freelancers don’t work hard
Speak to anyone who works freelance and they will likely tell you this isn’t true. You might often find that you will work over 8 hours a day in order to deliver on a project or meet expectations for the work you are producing. Yes, some days may be quieter than others – but time spent doesn’t always quantify effort spent.
MYTH: Freelancers can’t get a real job
Freelancing is a real job. You might have even left a job to go freelance and focus on working on something you truly enjoy. Just because you don’t always work 9-5, or in an office, doesn’t mean that you don’t have a real job – or can’t get a job. On the contrary, you have made a conscious choice to do something for yourself, a job you are passionate about.
MYTH: Freelancers don’t know what they want to do
Like the myth of not being able to get a real job, working freelance is not a case of being indecisive, or unsure on what you want to do for work. Freelancing is a statement. It is a clear indication that you have found an absolute passion. Not only that, but it is a field of work that you are able to excel in.
MYTH: Freelancers are a ‘one trick pony’
False. Yes, the likelihood is that you are amazing at your chosen field of work but that doesn’t restrict you to be a ‘one trick pony’.
For example, you could be a freelance graphic designer with a keen eye for detail. As such, you are perfectly placed to offer advice and opinions on the content and copy that will form part of the design you produce – thus helping your client obtain greater value as a result.
MYTH: Freelancers are unprofessional
There can often be an association that working freelance means lounging around at home in comfortable clothes – or even pyjamas – and whilst it is true that freelance work isn’t bound by the expectations that come with working in an office, it is incorrect to think this automatically qualifies someone as being unprofessional.
How you present and conduct yourself with clients and customers is just as crucial to securing any initial and returning work as networking. Some clients might ask you to work from their office on occasion, too, which brings with it a commitment to be professional.
MYTH: Freelancers don’t have a boss
As a freelancer you are – for the most part – in charge of yourself and managing your own time and workload, so it is true that you are your own boss.
However, it is equally as true that working for a client gives you somebody to report to yourself. And in order to succeed you must meet their expectations and work to agreed timescales.
MYTH: Freelancers can take time off whenever they feel like it
Although you are not bound by office regulations and have more freedom in choosing when and who you want to work with, ultimately you can’t always take time off whenever the mood suits.
Working from one project to the next, you will always be thinking about what lies ahead – with little thought given to the next holiday or break in the diary. What’s more, you will also be limited in taking time off if you are in the middle of working on projects – unlike employees who may have pre-booked time off mid-way through.
MYTH: Freelancers are always stuck indoors
Working as a freelancer, as with a lot of jobs, means there are times when you will be working from home. However, this isn’t always the case, and freelance work affords you more of a luxury to choose where you want to work.
As Manchester’s most innovative co-working space, setting up shop at Use.Space will allow you to find a creative space to let your ideas flow. There are also tons of residents to bounce ideas off and network with too – ensuring you’ll never be short of work.
Get in touch to book an obligation free tour at Use.Space today!