Just over a year ago, I made the decision to leave my part-time job in a pub and become a full-time freelancer. I’d been working on freelance projects for about two years before this, building up a portfolio and a network of clients, and I finally felt that I was ready to take the plunge. Since then there have of course been ups and downs, but for the most part I absolutely love this way of working! I thought I’d share just a few of the reasons why, but there are many more out there – if you have any to add, feel free to share them in the comments below!
1. You can manage your own time
No set hours means working whenever suits you! Obviously, there are some limitations to this; depending on your specialty, you will sometimes need to work to clients’ deadlines/timelines. For the most part, though, you’ll be able to fit your work around your life, not the other way around. If you hate mornings, no one’s going to tell you that you have to start working before 11am. Likewise, if like me you have a burst of productive energy in the evenings, you can utilise that!
I understand that this way of working isn’t for everyone; lots of people like to switch off at 5pm on a Friday and not have to think about work until 9am the following Monday. The way I see it, though, is that I can still do that if I plan well. I can also choose to take a Wednesday off I so wish, or do a few hours’ work on a Saturday if I want to free up some time during the week! It’s all about learning to manage your time well, a skill which is invaluable for any line of work – or just for life in general!
2. You can work wherever you want
You’ve probably heard the term “digital nomad” all over Instagram and Twitter recently – it’s undeniable that the number of people wanting to be location independent is on the rise. Having a line of work that you can do predominantly from a computer – such as writing, coding, video/photo editing – gives you a lot more freedom to move around!
This doesn’t just mean working in different countries. It can mean working from home, from the comfort of your bed, from a coffee shop, from a co-working space… or from a different place each day!
3. You get to be your own boss
Okay, so every client that hires you is your boss to some extent, but again for the most part YOU are in charge of your working life. You’ll find that you have a much more equal relationship with your clients than you would with a normal boss; after all, in most cases, they don’t know how to do what you do. That’s why they’re hiring YOU.
4. You will learn SO much
As a freelancer, you’ll not only be working on your chosen specialty. You’ll also need to hone your skills in business, marketing, social media, running your own website, finance, sales… the list goes on. It’s not all glamorous, but it IS all useful. You might just find that you also really like one of these other disciplines! Maybe you’re a freelance photographer who designs your own website in order to showcase your work, but in the process you discover that actually, you’re pretty good at it. You take an online course, put in some practise, and you’ve got another handy sideline!
5. You can do what you love
I mean, that’s always got to be the main reason, hasn’t it? It’s not always going to be easy, you won’t necessarily have a stable income – especially at the start – but if you get to spend every day doing something you genuinely love, then surely it’s all worth it. More than worth it, it’s pretty bloody amazing.