Freelance life: let’s start talking seriously. What it means to be a freelancer, how to better manage your budget, your clients and your time when you are freelancing. But first you have to ask yourself the question that underlies everything: is freelancing worthwhile? But the question, posed in these terms, is wrong. There are no objective advantages or disadvantages, it all depends on the type of person you are, and the skills you have.
So what you have to ask yourself is: is freelancing the right choice for me ? Of course, today precarious work and freelance life are an obligatory condition for many, but in any case you can decide where to direct your energies: look for an employee job at all costs, perhaps improving your skills and your qualifications with online courses and specializations. ? Or make a virtue out of necessity and work hard to set your freelance situation as best as possible?
On the other hand, freelance life can be a dream for those who can’t bear to always have to be accountable to others, and love to organize their time and resources as they see fit. Below you will find a number of advantages and disadvantages of the freelance position : a series of things to know in order to make an informed choice. Evaluate them all.
Entrepreneur of yourself
Freelance means entrepreneur, it must be said clearly. Even if you do not have a CEO or employees, it is as if you have them: because all the figures in which a company is normally articulated, here are concentrated in a single person. It is you. You are the boss who assigns the work to be done, you are the employee who does it. You are the project manager who takes care of finding new jobs and evaluating their convenience, and you are also the financial administration that decides how and how much to spend (and who also remembers to put aside the figures that will be used to pay the lasse, since there are no automatic deductions in the pay slip).
For what has just been said, you need impeccable organization skills . You must first decide how much time to dedicate to each task, to each function. And then schedule everything so as not to leave fundamental aspects behind: tax deadlines are just as important as contractual ones! Finally, make an estimate right now to dedicate one day a month, at least, to debt collection and reminder of overdue payments.
Pay attention to savings
Speaking of organization, it is also essential to apply it to finance management. Tax deadlines cannot be avoided, which is why it is good to adjust from the beginning of the year by setting a Goal dedicated to taxes on Oval : every week a fixed amount will be set aside automatically, so as to be sure to accumulate the necessary amount in time, and effortlessly.
No benefits, no accessories
The most obvious thing, which defines the very nature of freelancing: you don’t have a fixed salary. But what is missing is not only the salary, but also all those benefits and accessories normal in dependent work: health coverage, pension provision, paid holidays . But things are changing: on the one hand, employees are also undergoing remodeling of assistance; on the other hand, things are also moving from a legal point of view for freelancers.
On the other hand, not being tied to an office also has its advantages. Freelance is often synonymous with home-working : and this means not just an economic (and also time) saving, because you have to exclude from the budget all travel expenses, car or public transport. But even if you don’t work from home, in case you have a small office or go to a co-working, there is one fundamental thing to consider: you can choose the place to live. If work is smart, you don’t need to be in the big city with high prices and impossible rents.
Time , this is the myth of many aspiring freelancers: being able to organize themselves not only the tasks, but also the distribution of work within the day. Do you make little in the morning and put the turbo at night? No problem, move the times. Do you want to take off a day during the week? Perfect, you can recover on a Saturday or Sunday. Obviously, the other side of the coin is that you often end up working much more than the canonical 40 hours a week that characterize (in theory) dependent work: because freelancers always tend to say yes, and take more jobs than they do. can humanly perform. You become your own boss, with all the claims and flaws of the boss.
Performance and metrics
Of course, as a free and independent worker you are not subjected to the continuous evaluations and often questionable parameters used by companies: if they are not your values, since you are the entrepreneur, you can do without them. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep track of your activities, and evaluate them. KPI , what need do I have? But you do need the metrics – it’s not just about how much you earn versus the time it takes to deliver a job. It is also the time it takes to find a new customer, the number of pitches you have to propose to score one, the resources dedicated to marketing and self-promotion.
For some time now, and in general for everyone, there has been talk of lifelong learning : it is no longer like it used to be, that in the first part of life you learned, and then you moved on to cash. Now the update must be continuous, and if the rule is valid for everyone, it is even more so for freelancers. Especially if you work in the tech sector, but also in design and communication, novelties appear at an impressive speed, the tools are constantly changing. While in a company you can consider yourself in a protected context, and at most an adjustment of skills will be stimulated or even imposed, if you are freelance you have to think about it yourself, and in advance. Devote a part of your time and resources to professional updating: first of all to understand what are the aspects on which you must necessarily keep up.
Part-time (or term) freelance
This is an option that may seem contradictory, but it is worth considering. The choice to become a freelancer is not only not definitive and to be taken (or discarded) once and for all. But above all it can be partial: to work as a part-time employee (or full time, if you have advantageous hours), or to act as an economic resource for a period of study and specialization (end of university, master, second degree …). In short, you can decide to be freelance only for half a day, or for a limited period of your life. The important thing is to do it consciously.