Not to be confused with “5 Signs You Want to be a Freelancer“
Freelancing is a dream come true for a lot of people. What could be more relaxing than being able to work from home, or anywhere for that matter? While working from home sounds attractive, there are some checklists to be marked before you decide to go down this path.
Today, let’s take a look at 6 Signs that confirm you are ready to be a freelancer.
See also: 5 Signs You Want to be a Freelancer.
1. Your Time Management Skill is Unmatched
The number one problem you’ll come across when attempting to succeed at freelancing is managing time effectively and efficiently. Work from home sounds alluring, but it isn’t that fun when home becomes workplace. There will be countless things distracting you from working when you should. There’ll be household chores, other members of your family, and last of all, no one to boss you around!
If you’ve worked anywhere as a part time or full time job, you should already have a pretty good idea about how your time management skill is. If you have never worked before, you should start doing some voluntary work, even if that means for yourself. For example, if you’re a designer, set yourself a goal to design something within a very tight deadline and try to meet that. If you have a goal of working 40 hours a week, set bigger goals and see if you can manage yourself to work that much during your week.
There’s one harsh truth you should know before you jump ship: Work is hard. Regardless of where you are, when you are assigned a task and you are under deadline (which equals to stress), you will have a hard time getting the task done. When you’re working under a boss, you’ll be afraid of him and thus get the work done in time. However, when you’re working remotely when you can completely disconnect from your client by going offline, it’s more difficult to keep your head straight and not do that.
In short, if your time management skill isn’t good enough, you’ll have a hard time landing freelancing gigs.
2. You Are Good at What You Do
Freelancing marketplace is huge. Almost everything can be freelanced. From small logo designing or software programming to large video editing or audio production, there’s a market for freelancers everywhere. Even Hollywood outsources many of its special effects work to other countries. So, there’s no short of work when you enter the world of freelancing.
Sad news is, the field is equally competitive. Because most of the time a freelancing contract ends as soon as the work is delivered, client does not care about your educational background or your dressing etiquette, which are important when you go to land a job at a company. The downside is, this enables hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to “bid” for those projects. And the only way to stand out from the crowd is by showing off how good you are at what you do.
That’s to say, don’t start freelancing without knowing your work. If you’re just learning graphics design or web development, at least learn for a while so that you get a decent level of skill. It is difficult to land your first few gigs, but if you’re good at what you do, sooner or later you’ll get picked up by clients.
3. Your Communication Skills are Excellent
That does not mean you should have awesome skill at phone communication. Communication is essentially everything that you do with your client regarding your contract. From the first cover letter you write to the last email with the delivery of your work, everything is a medium of communication. And you need to be very good at it.
Communication skill is important for a few reasons. First, because both you and your client are at remote location, you need to understand what the client needs. To understand, you will obviously need to ask questions. And that’s when you need to be able to make your client understand what you mean. Same goes for when you face any issues regarding your work and need to inform your client about that. If you can’t tell them what it is, you’ll have a problem.
Communication skill also involves being responsive most of the time. Your client wants to hear from you. That’s your client who will pay you for your work, not your next door neighbor or a distant friend. You need to response fast to your client’s messages. You should treat them as your boss; because, in a way, that’s who you’re working for at the moment.
4. Your English is Remarkable
This goes along with the previous point, communication skill. But I’m separating it to emphasize the fact that it’s extremely important. Freelancing is a worldwide market. You never know where your next client is going to be from. English is an international language. Whether you’re a Chinese, Korean, Spanish, or Arabian, if you have good knowledge of English, you’ll have no issue dealing with clients from other parts of the world or vice versa.
While some jobs may require excellent verbal skill in English, for most jobs, you’ll be fine with just written skill. You may look for communicative English books or courses online or anywhere near you. Trust me, you’re going to need this skill no matter what you do.
5. You Don’t Have A Job
Some people leave their job to go full time freelancing. I highly advise against it unless you have decent amount of income from freelancing already. If you’re starting, it’s always a good idea to dedicate a small amount of time to freelancing while keeping your day job. But if you don’t have a job already, and you’re in dilemma whether to pursue job at another firm or go freelancing, you might give freelancing a go first. Because you already had a job, you’ll have skill and probably something to show in your resume. Also it doesn’t hurt to invest a few months in freelancing and see if you are ready for it.
6. You Are Self-Motivated
Motivation doesn’t come easily, even when you know you’re getting paid for your work. At office, you have a work environment. At home, you do not. It’s advised that you separate your work environment at home from others, but still being self-motivated is as important as it gets.
Rising up early in the morning, getting to work on weekends, etc are some of the times when you need to be self-motivated. You have to constantly keep in mind that you’re your own boss. So you have to boss yourself. You have to push yourself harder and harder for the motivation to flow.
This is especially difficult for new freelancers. After they get their first payment, they forget to work for the next few weeks. Don’t fall for that trap. Treat your freelancing like a business where you are the brand.
7. You Understand You Have to Constantly Keep Looking for Work
Few freelancers get the chance to go permanent with one or more clients. For others, especially the ones just starting up, it’s a constant disappointment of bidding for jobs and not hearing back. You have to be okay with it. Almost every freelancer who kept up now have a flow of invitations for work. So, before you start freelancing, you should understand that it doesn’t come easily. You have to work hard to satisfy your client with your work, but you have to work harder to get the job from the client in the first place.
Freelancing is a tedious task. You have to push your boundaries and be able to keep yourself together. But once you are rolling, life will be very interesting. There’ll be no one to stop you from visiting Paris and keep earning at the same time as you can work during your travel, at airports, and even in front of Eiffel Tower!
Also see: 5 Signs You Are Not Ready to be a Freelancer
Are you already a freelancer? Do you think I missed something?
Are you a wannabe freelancer? Leave your question in the comments without any hesitation. I’ll be happy to answer your question!
Image credit: brazencareerist.com