Transitioning from full time to freelance
Either as an office worker currently working remotely full-time or an occasional freelancer that already started freelancing and working with clients, you may be wondering if making the transition from full time to freelance work would be a good idea. There are many advantages to becoming a freelancer from gaining full autonomy over your workload and location, to better work-life balance and opportunities for new experiences.
The coronavirus pandemic has cemented the idea that fully remote work is possible and more than welcome for a great deal of the workforce. Many companies are now operating outside their headquarters and employees are working from home. The 9-to-5 job routine is called into question by a vast majority of the workforce that worked full time until now. At this turning point, white collars are naturally changing habits and dwelling on the alternatives.
How to transition from full time to freelance work
With the idea of transitioning in mind, comes another question: What are the steps you need to take in order to successfully position yourself in the market as a full-time freelancer? How does one prepare to go freelance after working full time as an employee?
Let’s have a look at 5 tips for going from full time to self employed:
Do preliminary research
Before you go under the spotlight and reach out to your potential clients, you should do some research on how professionals in your area of expertise are introducing and promoting themselves. Platforms offering freelance job posts and building bridges between businesses with freelancers can help you understand what your peers are doing, as well as what companies are searching for.
By browsing under your professional field in marketplaces, you can get an estimate of the average budget, time, and effort allocated for specific online job posts. Check out what others are “bidding” or quoting to have a basic understanding of what a realistic and up-to-date hourly rate looks like.
Be prepared to be surprised at how bustling the market is. There will be so many successful freelancers competing in your specialization. Don’t let this deter you from moving forward. See if you can bring in a novelty backed up by the authenticity of your background. Think of what thrusts you forward. Your combined skills, native language, or knowledge of a local market can make your freelancer resume distinct.
Start experimenting before you quit your job
Making the move from full time to freelance work as your main source of income can be strenuous. Even if you have made money from freelance projects once or twice and you know the freelancing ecosystem. Make sure that you don’t burn bridges before you are convinced that you can successfully sustain yourself as a freelancer.
You can try moonlighting; in other words, finding freelancing projects as a side business as you are still a contracted employee. Before you do that, make sure that a secondary business operation does not violate the terms of your contract with your employer.
Working two jobs at a time will be challenging. To avoid exhaustion, only spare a few hours on non-working days as a starter. Gradually spread your freelance schedule throughout the week to figure out the extent of flexibility you can endure. But remember not to bring your freelance work to your corporate workspace!
Build up your personal brand and spread the word
Online presence is not only a tip for freelancers—it is mandatory to build a successful brand in today’s world. Freelancers sometimes tend to think that it takes to establish a company to build a brand. In fact, that is not the case. You should be planning a content marketing strategy for your small business.
Your image matters even if you don’t own a company. When you make the move from full time to freelance work, the marketing and branding efforts will fall under your responsibility. A professional portrait picture, a logo, and a portfolio are substantial assets for your new profile on an online marketplace. In addition, you can enhance your visibility by setting up a website for your online business and a few social media accounts. A well-curated LinkedIn profile or an Instagram page can also help you find clients.
Once your profiles are ready, you can link them across platforms. You can then build your audience by announcing your new profession to colleagues, friends and family, and start networking.
Think over a health insurance and retirement plan
Retirement may seem too far from now. Yet, if you wish for a long-term freelance career, it is worth giving your personal finances a thought. Depending on where you are, you can find different pension models offered by your government. If you want to go solo on your savings, you can set up a private scheme with your bank. This way, your pension package would not clash with your employee benefits as you continue your office career.
In the hustle of work, we sometimes overlook priorities related to health. Furthermore, as a future freelancer, you may be questioning why you would need insurance in the first place if you will set your occupational safety standards on your own. However, the pandemic has reminded us all that health emergencies rank number one in all aspects of life.
Full time freelancing means that you alone are your own boss. So, be generous to yourself and provide yourself with what you need for your well-being. Not everything is in our hands. It is better to be ahead of any ill luck that can come your way.
Set up your workspace
A productive work environment requires a neat office setup. If you will be working from home, arrange an organized desk and some storage space, even if you can’t spare a whole room. Make sure you have all work-from-home accessories, such as an ergonomic chair, good lighting, stationery supplies, and electronic equipment. Don’t compromise your workspace standards as you transition from full time to freelance work.
If you are the kind of person that produces better and gets inspired by interaction, coworking spaces can be your thing. Here, you can enjoy the benefits of coffee/tea, wi-fi, meeting rooms, and the company of many other professionals just like you.
From full time to freelance work, rule your career on your own terms
Whether you’re considering a career shift or going freelance from full time employment, Ruul is here to help you along the way. Follow our blog for tips and guides to ruling your career on your own terms. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest news and best practices.
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