The first time I took up an assignment was about a little over 5 years back and I am so proud of it. I still remember being ecstatic about the first pay I earned from the same, it’s unmatched. That’s how I began, as a freelancer. Back then, I wasn’t even sure if this would ever become a regular part of my life or for that matter whether companies really work with freelancers. A freelancer is someone who pretty much works full-time, but isn’t an employee of the company. So when I call myself a freelancer, I am more like a third party to who the companies outsource some of their specific assignments to. I have worked for clients across industry verticals writing technical as well as creative content. There are a lot of people I know who wondered how did I even manage working and attending college. We will come back to that, but all I really know it that in reality I love the way I work.
Why being a Freelancer is cool?
I once tried working full-time for this IT company where I had to write all marketing content and develop concept. It was a nightmare and I often felt fatigued even though the work was interesting. I realized a few things:
- Working full-time means doing just one thing from 9am to 5pm.
- Working under someone is horrifying. My boss wouldn’t kill me, but I know some one is keeping a hawk eye on me trying to get the optimum use from his resource.
- No freedom, whatsoever!
2 months on dot and I was out of that system swearing to never, EVER go back.
Being a freelancer is really cool because:
- It gives the liberty to work on your own time. Being a full-time student, if I had to work somewhere full-time simultaneously, I’d end up struggling big time trying to cope up. Not so best of both worlds you see!
- I never have to ask for leaves. Let’s say I am going somewhere for a day or two, I just give a timeline I can complete the task in and adhere to it. Not only can I travel in peace but also meet the deadline I suggest myself.
- The ‘me’ time is never compromised. I have it clear in my head that no matter what I will swim once a day which I comfortably can whichever time I like.
- Creative liberty. Thankfully, the companies that I work understand that when they are working with a freelancer, he or she might have a different perspective which could turn out things only better.
- I can set my priorities straight. There is simply no need to adhere to any company ‘blah blah’.
- Saying ‘no’ is something that I can comfortably do. It is as simple as this, say yes if you can do it, but just say no when you can’t.
- You won’t be paid peanuts any more. As your experience grows so should the money which I realized really late as a freelancer.
- The biggest plus point is that you have the flexibility of what you work on. I have worked on film scripts, PR material for interior companies, content for hotels, construction companies and now I can also write for the subject I love- Trendogue!
A few likely drawbacks…
I have a little promotion now, I am a consultant with companies and not just a freelancer anymore. It happens as you develop more content and more experience, you grow. So whoever says working as a freelancer is not going to get you anywhere, sorry, you are wrong! I mean I could travel alone whenever I want and all expense is on me. Who is proud? Of course, I am! If you’re seeking to gain some industry experience while you study, I think freelancing is a fantastic option to be considered.
However, there have been some definite drawbacks too, not much to complain but yes a few here and there.
- My job eventually is a 24 hours job, some times even 30 hours a day. Yes, that’s how much I have worked on several days. Either the project demanded that much time or I have had a lot to balance.
- Possibility is, your parents would think that you are actually doing nothing. I mean I honestly had a hard time explaining my parents that I am working more than the general 9 to 5 people are and also earning way more. Forget parents, here telling people what I do was becoming a bigger task at hand. Sigh.
- Clients will expect you’re always available. This happened so many times that I have had to finally mention that I will not take calls after 8 in the night, during my holidays and not work on Sundays. If you have to let go some clients who don’t respect your private space, be it. Sticking with them just for some money will make you weary and like your work less.
- It can get tiring. A lot of things when they go on simultaneously, you might end up making mistakes too.
The larger picture
The truth is, no matter what I still enjoy being a freelancer. It allows me broaden my understanding about the worldly affairs and meet a lot of new cool people. This is one of the greatest perks. And because I am such a travel enthusiast, I know that no matter where I am in the world, I can work irrespective of the client’s location.
- Take breaks. Just working on and on won’t help. Taking a few days off is as much a necessity for you as it is for a full-time employee.
- Stay focused. That’s the key of producing quality work and also coming across many more clients who look forward to associate with you.
- Make schedules and stick to them. That’s the key to meeting deadlines quicker.
- Try looking for productivity free software online which will increase your work efficiency.
- Try pre-planning your days. If you know you have to go out for a couple days next week, finish off everything this week to save yourself any troubles while you’re not around.
- Try changing places if you only work from home. I sometimes go to a cafe and work. It’s nice to have people around sometimes!
Are you a freelancer? Tell us about your hardships or experiences in the comments section below!
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