The idea of becoming a freelancer is attractive, to say the least. What could be better than working from the comfort of your home, right? Or bring your own boss? Well, actually, when it comes to freelancing, things aren’t that simple.
I decided to try my luck as a freelancer after I graduated from college. There were things I did right and there were things I did wrong. I quickly came to know that the world of freelancing isn’t as perfect as people think — nor all are freelancers living the dream.
After spending a short time working as a freelancer, I realized that I had a completely wrong image of freelancing. That was probably because there are many myths surrounding this kind of lifestyle. Today, I’d like to shed some light on them.
1. You Do Things Whenever You Want
I think the most common myth about working as a freelancer is that you work completely at your own pace. In other words, that you’re totally independent — your own boss. It’s true that as a freelancer you don’t have a boss to answer to.
However, you do have to answer to your clients. Bosses are — usually — awful. But you know what? Clients can be even worse. Theoretically, freelancing allows for a flexible schedule. The thing is, you’re dependent on your clients’ requests. You have to follow their guidelines, meet deadlines, and be always available to communicate with them. Time management is crucial when it comes to this job.
2. You Only Work on Projects You Like
Someone recently told me that freelancers are so damn lucky because they only work on projects they like. Which is so far from the truth. Freelancing is such a highly competitive industry that you’ll grab every working opportunity that comes your way — especially when you’re a beginner.
You’ll often have to work on something that you find boring and uninteresting. You have to pay the rent, after all. Ironically, the most boring gigs usually also pay the most.
3. You Don’t Have to Get in Contact With People
Some consider freelancing to be ideal for introverts, shy and reserved people. That is because they are under the false impression that as a freelancer you don’t have to get in contact with people. Well, the truth is that you’re in never-ending contact with your clients.
E-mails, phone calls, video calls. Some are more demanding than others. The demanding ones will bombard you with e-mails and phone calls, asking for “slight” changes and asking about the project’s progress.
Also, not everyone likes doing business behind a screen. Some clients will ask you to meet face to face to discuss a project before they hire you, or meet to discuss a project’s progress after they hire you.
4. Anyone Can Be a Freelancer
Are you thinking of quitting your job and start working from home? Well, you should think twice before you take such a big step. You’re free to argue with me on this one, but not everyone can be a freelancer.
What I mean is that freelancing requires skills, discipline, persistence, a business plan, and lots of patience. It may take months before someone hires you — many give up way before they even land their first client.
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” — Arnold J. Toynbee
Freelancing is one of the best jobs out there — there’s no denying that. However, you shouldn’t think that it’s all play and little work. It’s as difficult and complicated a work as any other. If you want to become a freelancer, before you hit the ground running, keep in mind that:
You may have a flexible schedule, but you’ll still have to meet deadlines and answer to your clients.
It’s impossible to work only on projects you like. You’ll grab every working opportunity that comes your way — especially in the beginning.
You might not have to deal with your boss and co-workers every day, but you’ll still have to get in contact with people — you’ll sometimes have to even meet face to face with your clients.
Not everyone can be a freelancer. Freelancing requires skills, discipline, persistence, a business plan, and lots of patience.