If you want to escape traditional office jobs or you’re just eager to find part-time and home-based work, freelancing may be your best option.
In this digital age, owning a laptop can take you to great heights. You can watch tons of movies, listen to every type of music, express your creativity, and so on. But the best possibility you can have when owning a computer is to earn money.
This is where freelance work comes in.
1 . What is freelance work?
“A freelancer is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular company,” according to Wikipedia. Freelancers get to work for different companies at different times instead of working permanently for one company.
Freelancers offer their services to a client for a corresponding fee. A contract with a client will usually last for a short period of time, but it can be long-term depending on the employer. Some freelancers work on contractual work under a company, but they are still considered self-employed.
2. How does freelance work?
Compared to a traditional office job, freelancing allows you to have control over where and when you work. It also means that you’ll be handling your own financial concerns such as payment arrangements and taxes.
3. Where can you find freelance work?
There are many freelance websites out there! Start your freelance career with these popular freelance websites:
According to Toptal’s website, they only hire the top 3% of freelance talent. Freelance applicants need to pass a screening process before getting hired by clients who offer competitive compensation.
If you’re interested in web-focused projects, then check out this freelance website. On a free plan, freelancers can only send 15 proposals to clients. You’ll need to sign up for a paid plan to be able to submit more proposals.
In any case, you can freely browse through jobs and get notified when there’s an open position.
A hub for high-quality freelancers! Before you can apply to jobs on the website, Upwork will review your account (1-2 weeks) to determine if you’re a legit freelancer. So make sure to validate and complete all of your account information. After getting approved, you can submit up to 60 proposals to clients every month.
4. What does a typical day look like for a freelancer?
For some, working as a full-time freelancer is a dream come true. You get to be your own boss; you’re in control of your time and you become more independent.
You might not always have a source of income.
Jason, 27, has been a full time-freelancer for almost a year. He shares that working freelance is not all rainbows and butterflies.
There are times when he doesn’t have clients, so his earnings are not consistent. If he’s lucky, some of his clients extend his contract for up to 6 months. On the upside, he has the spare time to go out with his friends on weekdays and travel for long periods of time. He usually brings his laptop and portable wifi when he travels for 2-5 days.
Freelance life requires discipline.
Camille, 25, says that being a freelancer takes a lot of self-discipline. Since she works from home, there are a lot of distractions that she needs to avoid—temptations such as watching TV or sleeping the whole afternoon. She also tends to work at night since she often wakes up late in the morning. So her goal is to discipline herself so that she can perform well in her job.
The job takes a lot of dedication.
Juggling my office work and my freelance job is not easy. After office hours, I immediately do my freelance job at home and sometimes I have to stay up late. I also work during the weekends, depending on my client’s timeframe.
On a positive note, since I have a permanent job, I don’t have to worry too much if there’s no available client. I’ve been freelancing for a year now, and aside from earning additional income, I get to work on my passions—writing and graphic design.
5. How do you get paid?
In my experience at Upwork, once I finished the project or a milestone, the client will send the payment in my Upwork account. Take note that there’s a corresponding Upwork fee or tax for every payment. You’ll also get to choose on when and where your earnings will be transferred(ex. Paypal, Bank Account).
6. What are the pros and cons of freelancing?
Before jumping into working freelance, here are the pros and cons of freelancing that you should consider. Then you can decide if this career is truly the right one for you.
PRO: You’ll have a flexible schedule and work location.
Gone are the days when you need to wake up as early as 5 AM and get stuck in traffic before reaching the office. Working freelance means you are in charge of your own schedule. With just a laptop and fast wifi connection, you can work anywhere!
CON: There would be a lot of distractions
Working from home will test your self-discipline. Being your own boss means you need to push yourself to become productive.
PRO: Unlimited earning potential
You can earn as much as twice of your previous office salary. This is because you get to choose your clients and there are a lot of freelance jobs that offer as much as 100$ per project.
CON: Inconsistent earnings
So what happens when you don’t have clients? You guessed it right; you earn nothing. Being a freelancer means you need to be proactive in finding clients, or else you won’t earn money.
PRO: Freelancing gives you freedom
Working as a freelancer will teach you how to be independent and allow you to pursue your passion. You’re not limited to one job. I currently work as an article writer and a graphic designer at the same time.
You’ll also be free from office stress, since you’ll be spending most of your work time alone.
CON: You’ll need to do everything on your own (no backup).
Another downside, and maybe one of the most difficult things a freelancer must face.
Since you’re self-employed, all of the business aspects (e.g. sales and marketing, invoicing, signing contracts, keeping track of your finances, tax payments) will all be handled by YOU. You’ll also have no benefits such as a health card (which could be helpful in case you get sick), maternal/paternal leave, and other benefits that a typical office employee enjoys.
Like any career or job, freelance work has its own ups and downs. It’s up to you on how to handle it. Being a freelancer can be a liberating experience. Once you’ve considered every aspect of freelancing, you can take the next step and pursue your dream job.
Check out our blog for more tips on moving ahead in your career!