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5 Signs That You Are Now Ready to Become a Freelancer

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Become a successful freelancer the easy way
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Do you crave freedom from being chained to your desk for 10 hours every day? Or perhaps you’ve been finding yourself constantly looking into the listings of your favorite freelance job website whenever you feel that your boss isn’t hovering over your shoulder.

If so, then it’s pretty much clear that you’re looking to switch careers, and freelancing is probably an alternative you’re considering.

We can’t blame you, of course. After all, who wouldn’t want to break away from the 9-to-5 grind and to be more in control with their day-to-day schedules?

What’s more, freelancing means not having to deal with the horrendous traffic, which, in Philippine cities, can be outright hellish at times.

That being said, while you may be highly interested in freelancing, there’s a good chance that you’re not quite ready to take the leap just yet.

How can you become a successful freelancer?

Becoming a successful freelancer involves a lot more than a simple switch of companies or even professions, simply because of the fact that you’re essentially abandoning the security of a regular paycheck.

Failure to do the necessary prep work to mitigate those risks in advance, you may find freelancing to be a very nasty shock, on top of discovering that it’s very hard to put money on the table.

There’s also the fact that freelancing demands certain traits for you to be truly successful.

Related: 6 Most Essential Skills for Fast Professional Growth

While these traits can be learned or developed in time, there are some that are just part of a person’s personality, and thus can’t be easily cultivated. Without such personality traits, freelancing will be challenging for you.

As such, to help you make a more informed decision—as well as to stop you from making any rash freelancing career choices—we present you with a list of signs that may well indicate that you are ready to become a freelancer.

Sign 1: You want to have your own choices of projects to put all your effort into

One of the downsides to having a 9-to-5 job is that whatever job or task the boss puts on your plate, you can’t really say no to it.

Freelancers, on the other hand, have the freedom to accept or refuse any assignment that comes their way. This allows them to pick the tasks that resonate with their values and their personality, or at least those that they know they’ll be able to do extremely well.

This, in turn, contributes to their having easier and more rewarding workdays. If you’re desperate for this kind of perk, then being a freelancer might just be right up your alley.

Sign 2: You perform exceedingly well on your own

Some employees flourish more when they’re in a team, or when they’re being closely supervised and managed by a superior.

Meanwhile, others thrive when they work on their own, with little to no supervision. It’s this type of people that will do extremely well as a freelancer.

They can follow instructions to the letter, they’re capable of making their own informed judgment calls, and they’re proactive enough to look for solutions themselves instead of asking for help.

Related: 5 Things Freelance Writers Need to Know

If you find that you always seem to come out on top when you’re working solo, then freelancing could be the career move that suits you best.

Sign 3: You’ve tried working part time and you now have a great professional network

One “soft” way of trying out freelancing is to do it part-time. This means sacrificing some of your free time to do your own freelancing work, while still being regularly employed.

If you’ve been doing that, and you’ve developed a great network of clients, customers, and potential freelancing colleagues, then maybe you’re ready to take it to the next level.

A good sign that you have this is when people start telling you that you should think about running your own business, or that you’re so good with what you do that they’re okay with paying you a premium just to work with you, rather than going with someone else.

Sign 4: You have a lot of money saved up in the bank

Signs that you are now ready to become a freelancer
Have some savings

Freelancing full-time will likely mean that you’ll be earning considerably less money than you used to, especially in the first couple of months.

This period may stretch for longer than that, especially if you find it difficult to find clients. As such, you should only jump into full-time freelancing if you’ve got a substantial amount of money saved up in the bank.

This financial cushion should be enough to sustain your current lifestyle for an entire year or two.

Don’t be that aspiring freelancer who ended up having to apply for a job again just because they jumped ship without proper financial planning. That’s a fast track to tragedy.

Getting your first and lifetime freelancing client is not rocket science if you have an impeccable portfolio, jaw-dropping testimonials from verifiable companies or individuals and a top-notch prospecting skill.

In event where you work from home but you still see yourself struggling to get clients ready to pay you what you are worth we recommend that you take your prospecting abroad by promoting your freelancing work to the American audience or any other tier-1 countries.

Sign 5: You’re not afraid of uncertainty

In these turbulent economic times, there’s nothing wrong with being risk-averse.

While your 9-to-5 job may not be the most exciting, and your daily commute is constantly wearing you down, at least you don’t have to deal with the prospect of not having enough money to pay the bills next month.

This is especially true if you’ve already got a family depending on you.

However, if you’re the sort who’s too adventurous and just can’t tolerate being bored or stagnant with how you earn money, then that’s exactly what will drive you to succeed as a freelancer.

Your optimism and ability to deal with stress effectively will be more than enough to see you through any income-sparse periods that will inevitably come up with this profession.

Freelancing is risky, but it’s also exciting and massively rewarding

There is no guarantee that anyone will succeed in freelancing.

However, if you’ve done the proper legwork and you find yourself seeing most (if not all) of these signs, then there’s a very high chance that you’re ready to make the switch, and that you’ll find a reasonable amount of success in your new profession as long as you work hard at it.

Good luck, and happy hunting for clients!

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Emenike,

    Nice reading your blog today.

    Freelancing is a very risky job to going into if not properly examine especially if one is holding a day job. One has to go into it gradually while still holding his 9-5 paid job.

    The tips you’ve shared here will help make a better decision that will help anyone going into freelancing job a lot easier.

    Thanks for sharing, Emenike.

  2. Hi Emenike,

    To start freelancing one must have a financial “cushion” because work won’t happen overnight. Some are very successful doing it part time until the freelance work takes over the day job. It all depends on a person’s unique situation.

    I think the most important thing going into any kind of freelancing work is that there will be times when the work is there and times when things are dry. One must be ready for those days where there is no work and have their finances in check.

    -Donna

    1. You are very accurate, Donna.

      One of the biggest mistakes freelancers make is thinking that things will be ever rosy, so they squander their little earnings only to get stuck when things aren’t happening the way they thought it will.

      Thanks for your awesome contribution here.

      Emenike

  3. Hey, Emenike! It’s really nice to be on your blog today man. )

    You should be grateful for leaving a thoughtful comment on Donna Merrill’s blog.

    Speaking of which, freelance writing is one of the craziest and most lovely jobs in the world.

    In the past, I was a badass freelancer. Well, I don’t know about now, because I work a day job and design website and create Social Media Strategy for businesses.

    The last lines sounded like “Freelancing”, right?

    haha.

    Well, your thoughts here on this post are huge and a healthy reminder.

    Nice one brother!

    Sam

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