Three Common Freelancer Misconceptions
More and more people are choosing to work freelance while turning their back on ‘routine employment’. In fact, the UK has more than two million freelancers, and that number is still increasing. We can attribute the growth in freelancers to the demographics who are choosing flexibility over security, such as Millenials, and those who want to achieve a more empowering work-life balance. Despite its popularity, freelancing does have common misconceptions. So, just what are you letting yourself in for?
- The Work-Life Balance
Most people choose freelancing to get back control over their schedule. With freelancing, you can set your own hours and work when you want. This is all well and good as long as you are on it. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how productive or organised you are, there will always be a time when you just can’t get focused, you slept badly, or perhaps something significant happens which puts work on the backburner.
For most of us, the problem with the work-life balance comes from too many distractions, too little focus and a lack of productivity. So, while you can read thousands of articles on how to be more productive, there will be a time when this slips, and with it, you make a trade-off with your work-life balance.
Don’t expect to get a good work-life balance all the time but try and put the positive steps in place to make it happen as much as possible.
- It’s living the dream
Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t swap freelancing for any career or any job or for any money. However, it is not always fantastic. Clients can be rude, and it can be really upsetting. While you can try and be selective about your clients, there will be some clients who you misjudge, and you’ll need to grit your teeth, make sure you get your money and get to the end of the project as fast as possible. Sometimes they won’t pay, sometimes you won’t want their money anyway. While you can move on from it, it’s hardly ‘living the dream’.
What’s more, if you want to live your dream life, you’ll probably need the finances to boot, which usually means upping the ante with your work. Maybe there’ll be times when you have to forsake the things you want to do and work instead. Remember, that’s OK. Just make sure to set aside time to do all the things you want to when you can. If you feel that you are never getting a chance to enjoy the perks of freelancer life, then it’s probably time you reviewed your schedule to work out where your breaks and me-time are. Can you afford to take on less work for the sake of your free time?
- Everyone’s at it
Yes, the number of freelancers is rising, and that’s great news. However, freelancers only make up around 6% of the UK population. As such, freelancing can still feel incredibly lonely and isolating. There may be collaboration spaces and freelance networking, but that often doesn’t make up for the support and conversation that work colleagues can provide.
What’s more, there are disadvantages to being in the minority, especially when it comes to financial applications and societal judgement. Try not to let this affect you as long as you love what you do, who cares what anyone else thinks?