Life of a Freelancer; Transitioning Into Freelance Work and Time Management
There is one important thing that the pandemic taught us: we can have a balanced work and life situation while being the breadwinner for our families or ourselves.
The past two years have been a revelation for the majority of employees. Many of us have suffered from un-just work policies, rigid in-office work requirements, and extended work hours. After the pandemic and pandemic-induced restrictions, employees working from home got an opportunity to experience remote work and the benefit it brings.
At first remote work was more of a challenge than a boon. People struggling with slow internet service want to find internet providers with the right package and sufficient internet speed. Most of the employees working from home had to go through a ton of distractions, which affected their work performance. Anyways, now that it has been over two years of working remotely and experiencing flexible work standards with a hybrid work model majority of the employees in the United States do not want to let the new work mode slip away.
Future of Freelancing
According to the latest Pew Research, over 60 percent of the employees working from home want to continue with the work mode in the future. People preferring to work from home and ditch the daily commute has a lot to do with technological advancement. Technology has always been the most significant contributor to the business world. However, in the pandemic years specifically- technology has been a savior for the business and a source to keep them alive. Thousands of small companies were bankrupt, and millions of people lost their job worldwide. Although companies, regardless of their size, when adjusted to the “new normal” translating their operations into the digital world creates chances for growth and survival.
Because of the pandemic-produced opportunities, and flexible working standards, we can now see a noticeable shift in the mindset of workers. Over 4.4 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in the United States alone. As we talk, the Great Resignation trend is taking turns, causing employers distress and seeking better talent.
As we said above, many factors are driving the employee mindset and fueling the significant resignation trend. Still, there is more to working from home other than in-house jobs.
Freelancing amid the great resignation
The pandemic-induced changes have created new opportunities for freelancers. Freelancing platforms are growing more than ever. In the fierce and uncertain job market of the United States, freelancers are independent professionals. They know their way to success and growth. In addition, they also know how to grab a new job, get the work done, build new connections, keep a healthy bond with long-term clients, and learn how to manage their time. Keep reading if you want to know how freelancers can effectively manage their time.
Being a profitable freelancer requires a bunch of lifestyle changes and learning. However, before we jump on to that, here are some freelancing facts of 2022 that might help you decide whether you want to quit your job to join the freelance industry or stay with your 9-5 employment.
- In the United States alone, there are 57 million freelancers
- In 2019, there were 59 percent of male freelancers in the United States
- Eighty-four percent of freelancers say freelancer work lets them have a lifestyle they want
- 64% of freelancers, in response to a survey, said that their overall health improved due to the nature of their work
- In 2020, the United States saw the most demand for freelancing
- The freelancer industry makes up 5 percent of the total United States GDP
- Most importantly, 53 percent of all Gen Zers are freelancers.
These facts might have forced you to consider joining the growing freelance industry and make the most out of the freelance job opportunities. However, as we said earlier, some changes and learning are required to become a profitable freelancer in 2022. Especially if you are transiting into a freelancer from a remote job, you have to learn a thing or two. Below are some suggestions to help you ace your next freelance bid and work towards success.
Understand your value
Suppose you are working remotely after the pandemic. In that case, you have a marketable skill in the freelancing industry. Whether you are an SEO expert, accountant, engineer, or a part of the support staff, plenty of businesses are willing to pay you for your service. Unlike a typical office, you will not be called on-site for mere physical appearance. Instead, the companies hiring you on a contract or dealing with specific projects will pay you for your work.
Suppose you have been regarded previously for your work or appreciated for your skills. In that case, you do not have to settle for anything less. Skilled freelancers nowadays demand much higher hourly rates than the traditional in-house workers do. Experienced professionals prefer freelancing over a typical 9 to 5 job.
The beginning balance
Whether you are transitioning from a remote job to freelancing or starting fresh with your freelance journey, there is a lot for you to figure out. The first thing that might stress you out is finding clients independently. Unlike a regular office, a freelancer has to find clients, understand their demand, work on projects and deliver it on time with complete accountability for their work. When you are in a phase of seeking new clients, you have to dedicate your working hours entirely to client acquisition and freelance gigs. You should not limit your working hours because you have no assigned tasks. Instead, it would help if you focused on creating and promoting freelancer gigs in the early morning and evening on the evening over weekends.
It is not easy to find work when you are new to freelancing. It is a lot of work and requires a lot more time than in the traditional office setting, and you might even get demotivated when you do not have the right paying client. However, we’d advise you to be patient with yourself and keep making an effort to grab new clients to pay your bills first and then live a luxurious life once you build a clientele.
Build-in new client acquisition
Even if you have an exclusive clientele with many projects, you still have to save time by bringing new clients into your acquisition. There is always a risk that a client might drop out when you fail to meet their expectations or deadlines. Therefore, instead of dropping to square zero, you should be in a position to replace your client when the “risk” happens. Once you keep the acquisition fresh, you are in a place to mitigate the risk.
Own your schedule
One of the hardest things for people to do when they join the freelancing industry is to take control of their schedule. While many people focus on the commotion list to keep their work-life organized, others prefer making the calendar their boss. Whatever suits you best, you have to make a mission to make your life sorted with a well-made schedule. It is important to remember that most freelance work comes with a deadline. Therefore, submitting completed tasks on time is essential to maintaining a good reputation on freelance platforms’.
Understanding your tax liabilities
Another area where freelancers struggle the most apart from time management understands taxes liabilities. As a freelancer, you are responsible for 100 percent requirements in your job. You not only have to grab clients but also have to work on client acquisition, maintaining relationships with long-term clients, work on projects, and most importantly, become an accountant from the beginning.
However, one thing you can do is hire a professional accountant to handle your money business. It might reduce your stress. However, this is only once you have your luck and work going in the freelancing industry and not when you have just begun working as a freelancer.
Handling health insurance
When you become an independent professional through freelancing, you have to start covering your health insurance. It might be one of the most significant expenses, so you have to work closely on this factor before you consider leaving your job. In the United States, you can source health insurance through a broker or find the right policy that fits you via Healthcare.gov.
Anyways, make sure you understand the rules and requirements of qualifying in such an event and how much health insurance can cost at the end of a year.
Managing your time as a freelancer
We have talked about it earlier. Time management is one of the most challenging things to work on for the freelancer. Time management is also the factor that builds a successful freelance career. Therefore, if you have decided to switch to a freelance opportunity from a remote job, you need to take time as a limited resource. Your freelancing career requires time, and here are some ways to help you manage your time effectively as a freelancer:
Get the right tools
If you have chosen the freelancer life, then it must be because of several things. However, one of the most common reasons for people quitting their jobs and seeking freelance opportunities is because they want to spend more time at home and have a healthy balanced work and life situation. However, having a freelance job is not the complete solution. Instead, maintaining a freelance career and taking it to success is the right way to a balanced lifestyle.
Maintaining a successful freelance job requires high-speed internet service at home. Finding a high-speed internet service is no longer a task. Plenty of internet service providers in the country offer incredible bundles, especially for those working from home. Take Cox internet, for example. Cox Communications provides high-speed internet, TV, and phone bundles. Cox Internet plans are starting at just $29. 99/mo. for 12 months and a one-year agreement. With Cox, you can customize your package depending on your work and internet needs. Moreover, Cox customer service is a bonus with stable internet service for remote workers.
On the other hand, Spectrum offers many internet services for a home. Apart from that, Spectrum Billing doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Spectrum internet for home comes with advanced home Wi-Fi. The advanced home Wi-Fi lets you control the connected devices to your network. You can set specific schedules for your devices and easily manage your Wi-Fi network and setting through the My Spectrum App.
Other than a high-speed internet connection. You have to grab the right pair of headsets, preferably noise-canceling headphones, a good webcam for video conferencing with clients, and a segregated place where you can work in peace. This little investment will help you work effectively and save your time. You can later spend time with your family or cherish your hobbies that died out because of your mundane 9-5 work routine.
Visualize your goals
If you want to start managing your time correctly, you have to try visualizing your goals. This means that you should start working on the objectives associated with your freelance work. For example, you might have set a goal of grabbing ten new clients in the coming week. When you start visualizing this goal, your brain pushes you towards achieving it by sending quick goal reminders.
Prioritize your activities
Freelancing means that you have complete control of your time and the work. It is up to you how many hours you want to spend on the project, how many clients you want to deal with, and what type of work suits you right now. However, this control soon leads freelancers into confusion. Being free to choose your projects often overlaps with your day-to-day activities. Instead of grabbing all the tasks at one time and starting everything all at once, make sure you prioritize your time and work on one activity at a time before moving to the next.
To sum it all up
A necessary skill to success in freelancing is time management. Without being good with time, having the right tools, having a stable internet connection, and the urge to make the best out of your freelancing job, you cannot gain success. To help you with this, we have listed some tips above that might come in handy in your next freelance gig.