Should I Freelance Full Time? When to Take the Plunge
You might be one of the many freelancers (or employees) wondering, “Should I freelance full time?” There are so many reasons to become a freelancer nowadays. But, you’re probably wondering if it’s the right path for you. The biggest leap would be becoming a freelancer after being in a corporate job for so many years. It can also be pretty challenging to start freelancing after college. Even switching from part-time and full-time can be confusing.
The point here is, there is no one right answer. It will all depend on your situation and several important factors that will be discussed below. The only person who can tell you when it’s time to take the plunge is honestly, you.
What to Consider for Freelancing Full Time
Again, when considering, “Should I freelance full time?” you can’t have anyone else answer that question for you. You are the only person who will be able to determine if it’s to finally go full-time or stick to part-time. To help you answer the question, “Should I freelance full time?” consider the following factors below:
1. Work Experience
Before you take the plunge, make sure you are armed with valuable work experience that can help you not just survive as a freelancer but actually thrive as a successful one. If you are fresh out of college with zero experience and no portfolio, it will be harder to take on freelancing full-time. The best thing to do is to get valuable work experience first, which you can also get as a part-time freelancer.
It’s the worst thing when you are applying for a job only to find out the client wants you to have work experience. But that’s the reason why you want to get hired, to get work experience. So, how do you get out of this loop? By making a portfolio. As a freelancer, you get a chance to show your potential by creating sample works. For example, if you are a graphic designer, start making mock-up designs for make-believe or dream clients.
If you have good internships that can score you gigs or actually land you freelance jobs, then there may be a chance for you to become a full-time freelancer right away. The key here is you have valuable work experience that can actually set you apart from other freelancers.
How many clients do you currently have? Are your clients offering one-off jobs or long-term gigs? These are the factors that can help you decide whether or not you should freelance full-time. Of course, if you have zero clients or just get a few in a month, it might not be the right time to take the plunge. However, as soon as you get a steady stream of clients, then it might be time to freelance full-time.
Make sure that you create a good working relationship with your clients. Get referrals and network. Without clients, you’re not going to be able to freelance full-time, in fact, you can’t be a freelancer at all without them.
To answer, “Should I freelance full time?”, you also need to think about the industry you are in. For example, the advantages and disadvantages of working as a freelance paralegal will differ from the pros and cons of a freelance writer. It’s fairly common to find writing jobs and there are various clients needing a writer. Whereas a paralegal would have to narrow down clients to mainly lawyers or law firms.
If you are in a very competitive freelancing industry, you can’t immediately jump into a full-time freelancer. You might have to ease yourself into it. But that’s okay because freelancing as a side job is a viable option, too.
Your schedule is one of the most important factors you have to consider. Do you have other responsibilities? Do you run a business? Are you juggling extracurricular activities? Maybe you have kids to take care of?
If your schedule is pretty much free, then go right ahead and take charge of becoming a full-time freelancer. However, if you have other things that take up your time, you might want to fix your schedule first before taking the plunge.
5. Financial Situation
This is another major factor to consider, how much money you currently have and how much you are willing to spare. If you are straight out of school, it’s highly possible you haven’t gotten enough money or savings yet. Some are even in debt. If you are not yet financially stable, it might not be a good idea to freelance full-time.
Again, think of freelancing as a business. You will need a bit of money or capital to run your freelancing. Remember that you don’t have a regular monthly salary. So, you will need to do budgeting to find out if your freelance jobs will help you earn a profit and not just break even. The goal here is to have enough money that can sustain not just your business but your lifestyle as well.
If you do take the plunge with full-time freelancing, the least you can do is use a freelancing app to help you out. Kosmo offers excellent tools and features that help freelancers keep track of projects, clients, and more importantly, earnings. You’ll have the capacity to track how much money you earn for a given task or per hour. Do take the time to do the math so you can see if freelancing full-time is something you can live off of.
Is Freelancing Worth It?
You might be wondering if freelancing is even worth it. There’s a reason why the freelancing community is growing every single day. More and more people do side hustles or even quit their full-time corporate jobs to become full-time freelancers. But again, determining if freelancing is worth it will depend on you. Below are some factors that can help you consider if freelancing is worth it:
You have to decide what are your priorities in life to answer this. Do you value work-life balance? Do you need work that can offer flexibility when it comes to your schedule? Maybe you have a passion for the arts and you want to do this during your free time instead of just on the weekends. If freelancing allows you to actually focus on your priorities in life then it is definitely worth it.
Maybe you don’t like it when someone is in control of the way you work. Or do you prioritize your own creativity? Freelancing is also very enticing to those who prioritize me-time or alone time. If you get a client who is output-based, you can sleep in and work whenever you want. There’s also a chance that you don’t need to collaborate with anyone else so there’s no need to compromise with decisions.
One of the main draws of freelancing is it helps you achieve a certain lifestyle. For example, maybe you are a traveler. When you are a freelancer, you get the freedom to travel while you work. This is definitely something you can do when you are chained to a 9-to-5 job where you can only travel during time off.
Freelancing is also ideal for those with full family life. Just imagine stay-at-home moms can work and earn money while taking care of their children. You can attend to your child without any co-worker judging you or tracking your productivity and efficiency. You won’t hesitate to become a freelancer full-time if it can help you live the life you wish.
Everyone has different goals, some find it a hindrance to achieving these said goals when they are in a rigid work structure. If freelancing can help you achieve or attain your goals, then it’s more than worth it. For example, if you are an artist who wants to create their own line of sticker sets or even run an online shop, you’ll have a better shot when you are freelancing. Because some companies will not appreciate it if their employees are working on side projects during office hours.
Listing down your goals can help you answer, “Should I freelance full time?” Maybe you want to earn more money. If you have a salary, it might take more time to make your bank account grow as you only have a fixed income monthly. However, if you are a freelancer, there really is no cap on how much you can earn. But, this will take a lot of determination and maybe even a bit of luck (to find the right client).
Conclusion: So, Should I Freelance Full Time?
By now, you should have a clearer idea if you should freelance full-time. This can be a difficult and risky decision to make. So, it’s important that you are prepared, physically, mentally, financially, and even emotionally. Being a freelancer, you work alone most of the time and you will not have any colleagues (which can also be a good thing depending on the situation).
Just make sure when you answer, “Should I freelance full time?” you consider your own wants and needs, not anybody else’s.
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