Freelancing or consulting as an independent gives you freedom to leverage your skills and experience on your own terms. You get to choose who you want to work with and the projects you want to be a part of. Once you’ve captured this advantage, in a lot of ways, you’re working full-time for yourself…without the things you disliked as a traditional employee.
Here’s a look at how the lines between freelance and regular work become blurry once you settle into your consulting business especially if you’ve worked in a remote company with a distributed team before. This might come in handy if you are torn between pursuing a full-time job or being your own employee as a freelancer or independent consultant.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work – Aristotle
- You get to be your own employee. One of the reasons people leave their job to become full-time freelancers is that they’re done dealing with unmotivated direct reports or team members. Freelancing allows the opportunity to escape the negativity surrounding performance and commitment. With this perk comes another: the chance to be your ideal employee and feel happy at the end of a working day.
- You meet new people. Employees typically have ample opportunities to socialize at work. When you transition to freelancing, you may miss lunches with co-workers, chats by the water-cooler and mingling with new hires. But you’ll also find yourself networking with gusto, especially during the early stages of your business when finding new clients can be challenging. While the people you meet may not be potential clients, they can help you find leads and even become your friends. You also have the opportunity to reach out to other freelancers. The bottom line is that it is possible to replicate, at least to some degree, the interactions and camaraderie of working out of an office in a freelancing environment. You can also look for peer networks and selective communities such as our NOMAWO CLUB membership program.
- You’re still being counted upon. Working from home or your favorite coffee shop may make you feel geographically distant from your clients but as a contributor to their project, you’re also accountable for the results. If anything, this understanding pushes freelancers to give their best, just as they would in their full-time job.
- You’ll be structuring your workday. One of the main attractions of freelancing is that you can fix your own work schedule. But whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you will need to plan your day to wrap up work on time. In fact, having structured workdays may matter even more as you have to divide time between finding clients, juggling projects and answering your email.
- You make the rules (and stick to them!). Freelancing frees you from the rules of a traditional job. But the most successful freelancers create their own set of rules to work more efficiently and meet their entrepreneurship goals. So, while you don’t have a boss telling you what to do, you need to draw lines in the sand about the kind of work to accept, the discipline to maintain, and the work-life balance to strive for.
- Your well-being is paramount. No matter what your employment status, you need to manage your physical and mental health diligently, which includes finding the right health insurance plan. As an employee, you may have reminded yourself to take frequent breaks and avoid bringing work stress home with you. As a freelancer, you cannot afford to be a couch potato or stay in all day with no one to talk to. You’ll need to figure out ways to maintain a healthy mind and body. The good news is that you have the flexibility to create a routine where you can exercise, head out for a stroll, pick up groceries or plan a lunch date/meeting. Make the most of it!
In conclusion, the experiences and lessons of your full-time job are transferable to your freelance career. Enjoy the advantages of being self-employed without losing sight of the reality that you’re still a part of your clients’ success.