10 Reasons Why You Should Move From a Regular Job to Freelancing


digital nomad
Social Media Week

Freelancing and consulting while living anywhere in the world sounds appealing to many of us, but isn’t a reality in our minds. If this sounds appealing to you, here are 10 reasons why you should make it happen at all costs. This article was originally published on Danifeld.

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It’s been almost three years since I’ve decided to move from a regular job to an online freelancing and consulting job, and I don’t regret it one bit. I’ve always hated to wake up at 7:00 every morning and to commute to work, finish my job late in the evening to come back home. This feeling of being stuck in one place and doing the same tasks everyday were killing me. I had the feeling that I’m losing my potential, that I can be dished like an old sock at any moment and I couldn’t develop as much as I wanted.

So, why I think you should move on and become independent:

1. Diversity in your work

As a marketing consultant, I have the opportunity to work on all sorts of projects within: traveling companies, IT companies, real estate, and so on. Every project that I’m working on is so diverse and so challenging, it keeps me in a groove and I don’t get bored doing the same tasks everyday.
Also, the diversity of my work gave me the chance to develop my business and marketing skills on different business segments.

2. Getting to know people from different cultures

A big advantage of working online, is the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world. I’ve been working with Americans, Australians, Swedish, French, Japanese, British and more. It’s really interesting to see how different cultures interact in the work environment, what they like and dislike, their work efficiency and ethics, business challenges, and other tendencies.

3. You will be working alone

I always considered myself a team player. Being a freelancer came with the big disadvantage of working alone – a lot! I’m still a bit melancholic when I’m thinking about my days in an international environment with colleagues from all over the world, and I felt I was a part of the team.

I guess in one moment you will get used to it, but it’s a big factor that you should consider before stepping into this type of work. What helped me a lot was working from co-working spaces. I hate working from home, so working from co-working spaces brought back that feeling of being on a team and meeting interesting new people.

4. You’ll need self-discipline

When you first start freelancing as a full time job, you will get distracted very easily. You are going to wake up later, going to be bed even later and losing a lot of time on other stuff aside from work.

Instead of working through the morning, you’re working through the night. Not only is that unhealthy, it turns your free hours into working ones.
I usually try to keep a set block of hours (around 8 or 9 hours) that I work each day. Some things are unexpected as a freelancer, but aim to keep yourself available in case you work with people from different time zones.

5. You need to find your clients and deal with them

I’m not quite passionate about doing the first part – lead generation. Freelancing is a lot of sales and promoting yourself (I like to call it personal branding).

When you interact with clients, you have to be polite, responsive and professional on every project you do. There is no room for superficiality if you want your clients to come back to you with new projects. I’m trying to give 110% for every client, even if sometimes people don’t realize it or don’t appreciate my efforts.

6. Don’t do work for free

Unfortunately, nowadays there are so many freelancers that underrate themselves and do free work. Most of the time this kills the market. Let’s not forget that you are going to meet clients that are asking you for extra-service, and give you more work than you agree upon initially. Don’t fall into the trap of overworking just because you are afraid to lose clients, otherwise you will spend a lot of your time doing volunteer work.

What I recommend is to set from the beginning the following aspects: job description, project description, the amount of hours that you will spend, the budget, and the duration of the project. This way, you’ll have less chances of working for free.

7. Don’t let emotions take over

You will work with all types of people as a freelancer: nice people, pushy, unreasonable, and everything in between. Let’s not forget that you’re going to face a lot of rejections. But, you have to handle these situations with diplomacy and respect, just like every other interaction. Keep your emotions in control when dealing with clients, because in the end the clients are the ones that pay the bill.

8. Know what’s trending

As a freelancer, you will need to be up to date with the latest trends in your industry and the latest tools you can use to help your clients achieve their goals. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to lose hours reading all sorts of online articles, but you have to know which trends are impacting you directly, and what you can use to your advantage.

9. Good and bad financial months

Another disadvantage of being a freelancer is that you’re going to have months that your income is way up, and months that you are close to zero. If you are a person that is feeling comfortable with a regular income at the end of the month, freelancing is not for you. A big recommendation here is that you really need to learn to save money. This way, you can balance the income between the months.

10. Work from everywhere in the world

I left the best part in the end, because this one I think is the biggest advantage of being a freelancer. At the moment I’m living in Bali. I just moved here two weeks ago. The fact that you are not committed to one location gives you the advantage of working from everywhere in the world. Think like this: you still need to pay for accommodation, utilities, food and other expenses. Why not live abroad in affordable countries where you can even save some money.

Image Credit: 1Bag1Life



SMW Staff

SMW News, Social Media Week

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