The Life Of A Freelancer - Know What You're Getting Into Before You Take The Leap*

*This is a collaborative post*

How does that saying go? 'Follow your passion and you'll never work a day in your life.' 

More and more people are jumping ship to go it alone, that is quitting the day job to go freelance, and quite frankly, who can really blame them? If you don't have to work the run of the mill nine to five for an ogre boss that continuously breathes fire down your neck then why the hek should you? Of course if you have a particular skill or talent for something, then going freelance is going to be easier than if you don't. However, that's not to say that anyone else can't also give freelance a whirl, it just might mean re-training in a particular field. While some roles such as accountancy may require qualifications, others are more 'practice makes perfect!' (Think blogging or freelance writing.)

The obvious perk to a freelance career is being your own boss and thus the increased flexibility, but there are also other considerations which you should be aware of before you take the leap.

Image Source Pexels

Isolation - The Life Of A Freelancer Can Be A Lonely One

For all the perks and positives, there are some downsides. The life of a freelancer can be a lonely one. Working at home (PJ clad) is great but the novelty sure wears off! Luckily there are options available if you feel like you're going stir crazy or if you're just in need of some adult company.
Co-working spaces are something I hadn't heard of until just recently but they're a marvellous and affordable idea. Signature Works offer fully serviced offices in Liverpool which are an affordable solution if you fancy trying out a shared work space environment. You can choose from pay per use dedicated desk space or private serviced offices, and as the name 'co-working' suggests, you'll be sharing your office space with others. This is actually a great way to mingle with other business folk, fellow freelancers and like-minded individuals. Not only will you get the benefit of adult company, but you'll also be able to bounce ideas off one another or even strike up new business relationships. If you want to meet and learn from industry leaders then the calendar of business workshops and events will be right up your street too.
Situated in popular city centre areas such as Liverpool, Signature Works have offices to suit every business requirement, freelancer or not. And if you're not completely sure about the idea then you'll be glad to know that they also offer a rolling monthly contract.
Membership perks include postal services, high speed internet, access to a state of the art gym and unlimited tea and coffee!

Increased Responsibility - The Tax Man

The dreaded T word! Yes it can be sickening when it comes to paying - what feels like a huge chunk of - money to the tax man, but it's also a legal necessity and as such you'll have all the responsibility of tracking any earnings and completing your end of year tax self assessment. Of course the self assessment itself isn't necessarily a negative, but for many people it is a stressful and anxiety inducing time, that said, if I can do it, anyone can! Also bear in mind that depending on the type of work you do, there may very well be policies, legislation, regulations or guidelines that you'll need to be up-to-date and au fait with. GDPR anyone?? Enough said.

Increased Risk Of Procrastination - Time Is Money 

As the boss you'll get out of your business what you put in. It's all too easy to lie in, hit the snooze button or take an afternoon off when you don't answer to anyone but yourself. (Procrastination and distraction will also come knocking on your door!) However, time is money and when you're not working, you're also not making any. When you start out, you'll need to put twice the amount of effort into your business if you want to see results and this can be tiring. It's also all too easy to become a workaholic. Finding and maintaining a healthy work/life balance is hugely important. NB. I'm still learning this myself!

Lack Of Financial Security  - Build A Back Up Fund

Whereas before you may have had a set and guaranteed monthly wage, being a freelancer means that you'll often have no idea where the next pay check is coming from. Sure some months you'll have more work than you know what to do with, but other months the work will dry up and panic may very well set in. This is the nature of the job and as such it's wise to build an emergency fund so that should you have a bad month, you'll still be able to pay any bills. 

No End To Your Job Description

As a freelancer it'll be down to you to ensure you have a constant, steady stream of work. This means you'll be doing your own marketing, pitching, networking and admin. Don't forget, some clients will also either pay late or will try not to pay at all so you're bound to spend some time chasing payments. 

So is being a freelancer worth it taking all these things into account? I'd say so. For me, the positives definitely outweigh the bad! :)

*Header photo Lisa Fotios via Pexels

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