There has been a sharp rise in the number of freelance workers in recent years and it is easy to see why. Working freelance puts you in control of your career as it allows you to be your own boss which can provide great flexibility as well as a great work-life balance. It is also a way of working which has a few challenges and is not for everyone. Here is everything that you need to know.

Popular Freelance Roles
These days, you can start a freelance career in just about any industry. There are a few types of jobs which are more common than others though, such as:

  • Freelance web designer
  • Freelance writer
  • Freelance software developer
  • Freelance graphic designer
  • Freelance social media manager

How to Succeed
So, how can you succeed as a freelance worker? As you are your own boss, you must possess an excellent work ethic and be self-motivated. You must also network at every opportunity to raise awareness about your services as well as to create new opportunities for yourself. You need to be professional, provide a high-quality service and be reliable so that you are able to secure regular work and benefit from positive reviews and referrals from clients.

One area which many people struggle with when starting a freelance career is making sure that they are operating legally. You are responsible for paying your own tax so you need to have a clear accounting system in place and remember to file your tax return each year. It is also important to stay current with any legal changes, such as ir35 rules which are changing in April 2020 which will have implications for freelance workers in a bid to tackle disguised employments and tax evasion.

Additionally, it is also important that you are using contracts for any kind of business arrangement, you have adequate business insurance in place and you choose the right structure for your business (it is smart to start off as a sole trader).

Pros & Cons
There are many pros to being a freelancer along with a few drawbacks. The main advantages are:

  • Unlimited earning potential
  • You control your working hours
  • Greater work-life balance
  • Remote working
  • Choose who you work with
  • No office politics

The main drawbacks of freelance work include:

  • Inconsistent flow of work
  • No job security
  • Often having to juggle multiple clients
  • No paid time off
  • No benefits
  • Potential for cabin fever

Hopefully, this post will help you to determine whether or not a freelance career is for you. It can certainly bring many advantages if you have an in-demand skill and you are willing to put the work in, but it is also important to be aware of the drawbacks as these mean that it is not an ideal way of working for some.