Stop working for someone else and start your freelance career

Ever considered leaving your job to start your own freelance career?

For most people, having a rewarding career and a job that pays a decent salary is the way to fund their lifestyle. 

But what if there is another way?

In the wake of the recent Covid19 pandemic, many paid workers have realised that they do not need to rely on an employer to make a wage, and are capable of generating their own income.

All over the world, people have been converting their side-gigs, hobbies, and passions into meaningful paid labour. 

Programmers, SEO’s, writers, and artistic people have launched their business and left the employment pool, which could be partly why the last few years have been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ by industry leaders. 

Undoubtedly there are pitfalls to going it alone, but there are a lot of gains to be made also. Here are some of the things that you can expect to benefit from starting your own freelance career.

Direct your own freelance career

direct your own freelance career

One of the basic components of working for someone else is that they decide what needs to be done and when. Embarking on your own freelance career means that you are the master and commander of all you survey.

Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the truth is that you can decide how the working day needs to play out. If you need more time on a project or know that the potential delays will be high, you can adjust accordingly.

This can help to remove a lot of pressure that usually comes along with having set schedules and deadlines. Determine timelines upfront and communicate with clients to set their expectations and you should be able to keep your stress levels managed. 

Pay less tax

While this is not financial advice (you need a professional accountant for that – spot the disclaimer!) the reality is that many self-employed people pay less tax than when working for an employer earning the same monthly salary.

It can be worth consulting with a tax professional and getting your own accountant to take full advantage of all the deductions offered to you once you begin your freelance career. 

Things like travel and transportation, tools and equipment needed for the job, or having a home office are all deductible as business expenses. Meaning that your tax obligation could be much lower.

Bear in mind that you won’t receive things that an employer usually provides like sick pay, holiday pay, and a pension, but with the extra tax savings, you can make provision for these things. 

Help is always at hand

The nice thing about deciding to make it on your own as a freelancer is that there is a whole community of people ready to help, and advise. Rather than feeling cast adrift and completely alone, many new freelancers report feeling surprised at the amount of support that is available. 

This can be in the form of business forums, online communities, or Facebook groups to name a few. Thanks to the power of the internet you should be easily able to connect with other freelance workers that can give you the benefit of their experience. 

In addition, there are a ton of freelance marketplaces designed to help you find work. Some provide a wide range of jobs like People per Hour and Upwork, while others focus on specialised areas like GigLeads that searches the internet for well-paid writing and content design jobs, and deliver them daily to its members.

Having such a powerful resource at your fingertips means that you can seek out information pertaining to your industry, career progression, or ask general business questions. Those that have been working in their freelance career for some time are generally willing to take the time to find solutions or explain things. 

Have more time 

have more time for hobbies and travel

Many workers make the transition to a freelance career to enjoy the extra time and freedom it offers. However, that can be something of a mirage if you don’t manage your time properly. As with any job the work will need to be done, so you can’t spend your days watching TV and flipping peanuts and expect to get paid

The opposite is also true. There is an old saying that goes something like: ‘The work will expand to fit the hours you are prepared to put in’. It’s known as ‘Parkinson’s Law’ so if something has a law or saying made about it, you can bet it has happened with reasonable frequency. 

Time management is a big thing for freelance workers, it can be helpful to set a schedule, or it is too easy to fall into the ‘I’ll just do this’ trap, and before you know it your time is eaten away. That said, with the proper organization you should be able to manage your day to work smarter and complete the work and tasks needed.

Choose your own clients

Ever had one of those clients that you hate calling or whose every interaction makes you grind your teeth. Well, now you don’t have to. Having your own freelance career means that you have the ability to pick and choose who you work with. 

This might take a bit of time to achieve, most freelancers can’t afford to turn down work in the early days and have to work with whoever is paying their fees. But over time and as your reputation builds, you should gradually be able to move into a position where you can consider who you are working with more critically. 

Not every client is amazing, and some require more attention or finessing than others, but you get to decide what is manageable for you and select the clients that you want to work with accordingly. 

Enjoy a better work/life balance

Hopefully, if you are managing your time well and not working into the wee hours, you should be able to manage a better work/life balance. This is one of the many reasons that people start their own freelance careers. 

More free time to spend with friends, partners, and kids or to do things like travel more or indulge in a hobby is one of the biggest motivating factors when it comes to choosing a career in freelance work. 

Having more time for holidays or simply to plan outings, day trips, and events is good for mental and physical health and many freelancers report feeling better physically and mentally once making the break from traditional employment.

Less office politics

leave office politics behind with a freelance career

Everyone that works for an employer has at some point dealt with office politics. Drama, workplace gossip, or simply having to put one’s own feelings about someone or something to get a project done is relatively common. Professional disagreements and differences of opinion, while sometimes positive, can be stressful and draining. 

A huge benefit of having your own freelance career is that you are able to leave office politics behind. Even if your business grows large enough to require staff, you get to interview and decide who you work with. You can also define the culture of your own business to align with your ethos and sensibilities. Nice!

Final words

While there are massive benefits to leaving your job and starting a freelance career it will still mean hard work, dedication, and setbacks along the way. It also takes the right mindset to manage your new freelance business successfully. But for many, the gains far outweigh the negatives and as the number of gainfully employed people continues to reduce, it is evident that the workforce is reducing by large numbers of people willing to give their freelance career a shot.