For many of us our ultimate career goal is to say goodbye to the 9-5, the daily commute and interminable office politics by going freelance. Working for ourselves instead of clock-watching bosses would give us the freedom to pick and choose our projects and work to our own schedule, in our pyjamas. If this is your dream, do you know how to get started?
Leaping Into The Freelance Life
Luckily, ZenBusiness has created a helpful guide to everything you need to do to take the leap into freelance life. For example, one of the first things they recommend is to be sure that your finances are in order before you do anything as drastic as handing in your notice. Going from a full-time job with regular paychecks to a freelance role means you may need a safety net, so get saving and make sure you’re organized with your income.
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It’s also important to think hard about how you will structure your new working life. You may be free from the 9-5 at last but this leaves the potential for you to actually end up working longer hours and risking burnout, something that has happened for many people working remotely during the pandemic. So use your new-found freedom to pick a schedule that works for you.
There’s plenty of tools out there to help you stay organized as a freelancer so it’s worth exploring the options. Some of it will be software you might have used in your day job, like Trello for project management and Mailchimp for email marketing, but there’s also options like FreshBooks which is accounting software that can make your life much easier when it comes to finances.
Kickstart Your Business With Existing Clients
Of course, being a freelancer means that you are needing to bring in new clients to make sure you’ve got enough work to put food on the table. So before taking the leap, have some clients lined up ready to kickstart your business and get ready to be proactive on social media and in networking groups to raise your profile and meet new people.
When it comes to meeting people, this is something that’s harder to do in your own home - like you need reminding after so many months of lockdown - so it might be worth considering hotdesking and coworking spaces where you can get out of the house and also do some networking with like minded freelancers and business people.
Before you’ve started freelancing, it can be tempting to just focus on the short-term challenges and opportunities but it also pays to do some longer term business planning including working out what business structure will be right for you and your goals. Will you want to take on staff at some point? Will you need a business loan to expand? It’s never too soon to consider these questions.
Leaving behind the world of full-time work for a life as a freelancer can be daunting as well as exciting, but with these tips and the right amount of preparation, you should be ready for whatever your new career throws at you.