This is a guest post written by Jon Dela Cruz for iCompareFX.com.
A study carried out by Upwork showed that more than 55% of freelancers in Australia got on this path out of choice, mainly because of the freedom and flexibility it offers.
Around 70% of those surveyed said they earned more within a year or less, and more than 50% earned more than they did when they left their traditional jobs. In addition, close to 60% felt they would not return to traditional jobs, no matter how much they got paid.
With statistics such as these, it is safe to assume that people in Australia can think about going the freelancing way. However, not everyone is cut out to live the life of a freelancer, so it is important to determine that you have what it takes before taking the plunge.
What is Freelancing?
A freelancer is someone who is essentially self-employed and may work with multiple clients at the same time. Freelancers may have short-term or long-term associations with their clients, depending on the types of projects they handle.
In today’s world, a significant number of freelancers turn online to websites that specialise in connecting employers with the right type of talent. Examples, include Upwork, Fiverr, CloudPeeps, and Indeed. Incidentally, some freelancers continue to work directly with clients, without having to pay third-parties a cut from their earnings.
Common Types of Freelance Work
Designers and writers account for a significant percentage of all freelance workers. Other common categories include:
- Web design and development
- Video editing
- Software development
- Search engine optimisation
What Does it Take to Make it As a Freelancer?
Answering a few simple questions might give you a fair indication of whether or not freelancing is your cup of tea.
- Do you have trouble keeping up with deadlines?
- Can you handle multiple projects or deal with multiple clients during the same period?
- Can you undertake multiple roles at the same time?
- How good are you when it comes to successfully completing self-driven assignments or projects?
- How well do you work in the absence of supervision?
- What is your level of expertise in your chosen skill set?
What Are Your Expectations?
It’s only fair to expect being able to maintain your existing lifestyle when you switch to freelancing. However, it is also important to be realistic about your expectations.
It is important go ask yourself why you want to become a freelancer, and then determine the type of work you plan on doing.
Have you thought about how many hours per week you wish to work, or how much money you expect to make? Some clients, especially ones that hire locally, might expect to meet you in person from time to time, and this is something you need to take into account as well.
Have You Planned Your Finances?
Financial perks that you will be left without as a freelancer include paid leave and superannuation. As a result, it is crucial that you get your finances in order before making the switch. If you live with your spouse or partner, discuss you financial situation at the onset.
If you need to make monthly repayments toward a home or car loan, determine how you will continue making them on time. Creating a buffer before you leave your regular job is a smart idea.
Test the Waters
Before you decide to dive deep, take some time to test the waters. Once you’ve identified the type of work you wish to do, start looking for projects to take on the side. This way, you can begin building a network, and you also get to see what it’s like working with multiple clients in non-conventional work environments.
The testing phase is typically when you set an hourly rate. If you’re not sure about how much you should charge, consider turning online to look for average freelancer salaries in Australia. Bear in mind, though, that your proficiency levels play a key role when it comes to how much clients might pay to use your services.
Pros and Cons of Freelancing
While working as a freelancer comes with a number of benefits, taking this path also comes with its fair share of drawbacks.
- Flexible work hours
- Complete ownership
- Ability to work from anywhere
- Ability to select clients
- Avoid commuting during rush hour traffic
- No office wear
- No loud open-office environment
- No paid leave
- Need to look for new clients periodically
- No unemployment benefits
- Possible feeling of isolation
- Insecure superannuation contributions
Making a switch from a job that pays a steady income to working as a freelancer might seem too risky, however more and more people are finding success in being their own bosses.
With technology making even further inroads, a growing number of businesses are now open to hiring remote workers. What’s also helping is that platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Peopleperhour, and Toptal are working well in bringing the two together.
About the Author
Jon works with iCompareFX, a website that lets users compare the world’s leading overseas money transfer companies. His core job is research, and he also goes the mystery shopping way at times. When he’s not working, he likes discovering new music.
TFC Disclaimer: Guest posts are posted in good faith. I cannot attest to the originality of each article. If you have any concerns about the content, please contact the author of the article outlined above.