If you’re interested in having a bit more control and freedom in your professional life, freelance jobs might be an attractive option.
Upwork’s (A site for freelancers and freelance jobs) recent report of the annual freelancing rate in America has risen to 56.7million as of 2018, which was recorded to have risen by 3.7million since 2014. This unarguably proves that the freelance community is growing.
The recent pandemic has increased the demand for remote freelance jobs, and with these growing figures, it’s imperative to prepare yourself to freelance and freelance well. Use this article as a guide to understanding what freelancing is;
What Is Freelancing? A Basic Definition
However, in a simple term freelancing is the act of selling your services to employers without a long-term contract. While freelancers do take on contract work for companies and organizations, they are ultimately self-employed.
Furthermore, Freelancers are responsible for all sorts of things that traditional employees are not, such as setting their work hours, keeping track of time spent on different projects, billing clients, and paying their own employment and business taxes. Freelancers are not considered “employees” by the companies they work for, but rather “contractors.”
The workforce emerges in different directions – are you keeping up?
It’s true, most individuals frown upon the idea of freelancing because aside from the plenty of misconceptions available, it seems to be an unreliable job. Think about it: you are living from paycheck to paycheck, from client to client.
However, it’s highly understandable why most people fear this. After all, freelancing started as an option for income supplementation, and the main idea was not necessarily to find constant projects but to find some when you needed them. Yet in the past years, with millennials entering the workforce, it became a reliable alternative to 9-to-5 jobs. Moreover, because of the traction, it gained in the past years, companies of all sizes – including enterprises are reorienting themselves into hiring freelancers as well, not only full-time employees.
Now, I won’t claim that office jobs will be dead in a certain amount of time, but what I do say instead is that it could be a good option for you to take into the account the idea of going freelance, at some point, especially if you are seeking things such as flexibility, variety, work-life balance and more. Since I do not enjoy making claims without any arguments.
Why choose Freelance Jobs?
Why should you or anyone be a freelancer? Is it worth it, what need is it to you or the other person? Here are the answers to that:
- Flexibility – the main keyword when going solo
Keeping all the prejudices aside one of the highest desires of the upcoming generations is flexibility. Whether we talk about having the option of choosing the time to start working or the amount in one day, flexibility is one of the main benefits of freelancing. Aside from this, freelancing gives you the option to work from anywhere most of the time, working on freelance projects will involve working at your home office and working the hours you so choose. You’ll absolutely have deadlines to meet, but you will decide when and where you work.
2. Thriving on variety
Also amongst the great benefits of freelancing is having the opportunity to dip your toes into a pool of possibilities and opportunity. Usually, freelancers work on a variety of projects, from several industries. It’s not unheard of working only with one, but that’s usually a matter of choice (and of income).
Thus, going freelance will give you the chance to grow, to expand your horizons, and to achieve plenty of knowledge and an impressive portfolio. This way, you will be some sort of Jack of all trades (but better than a master of none), in your own field.
3. Your income is a benefit
As a freelancer, you determine your pay rate depending on your level of expertise. It could be possible to work part-time hours but make full-time pay. Also as a freelancer, you can generate additional income for yourself, cause you essentially own a business, it’s just that you’re the business. This means that you can build “your business” to make more money and grow as a business.
4. You choose who to work with
Let’s be honest about something – when having a full-time job, even if you have the chance to work on various projects, choosing which one to work on, is not one of the perks. This way, you might find yourself stuck with a project that goes against your ethical and moral objections, or would stick you in a routine. Even worse, in case your company provides services for other clients, there’s always the option of finding one who is either overly-demanding or aggressive.
On the other hand, one of the benefits of freelancing is this – you get to choose who to work with. If your client comes to you with a project proposal that doesn’t fit you, or his behavior is not one of your likings, you can always refuse. However, if this is the case, you need to have a plan B. Which, usually freelancers do have.
4. You can follow your passion
Being a freelancer allows you to have freedoms that those on staff don’t have. In newsrooms, for instance, journalists are often assigned stories and tend to receive more direction from their editors. On the other hand, freelance writers are able to use their creativity in generating ideas and the directions of their stories.
“I enjoy freelance writing because it gave me an opportunity to advocate using my voice,” Crumpton said. “Despite its faults, I can vision a career in freelancing because I have an opportunity to share my experiences and thoughts with a broad audience.”
Since freelancers have more control over who they work with and what they work on, they can always count on being interested in and engaged with their work passionately.
“I like being able to decide what I want to work on and have control over where I can publish my writing,” Tenreyro explained. “Even though I have to depend on publications to accept my pitches, there’s a great amount of freedom in not having to be assigned work I don’t like and focusing on pieces I feel are important to me.”
Also, freelancers aren’t limited to a specific topic, genre, or beat. No matter what your trade is – graphic design, photography, web development – you are free to jump from industry to industry, rather than sticking with just one.
“I love freelancing because it allows me to pursue stories I’m interested in and I’m not confined to one specific beat,” said Tatiana Walk-Morris, a freelance journalist and founder of The Freelance Beat. “Most of my reporting falls within business and entrepreneurship, but I also branch out into personal finance, culture, and health.”
5. Job Security
Since freelancers are self-employed, you’ll never have to worry about your job being in jeopardy. Those in-staff jobs are vulnerable to receiving a pink slip if layoffs need to happen, and as a result, may be forced to compete with their colleagues to keep their jobs.
“Given that many journalists are impacted by layoffs, I feel somewhat more secure working for myself than I do for an employer,” Walk-Morris mentioned. “While I’d like a full-time job someday, my freelance skill set enables me to continue reporting without worrying if I’ll be laid off.”
Who can do freelance jobs?
When you’re searching for freelance jobs, there are a number of different terms to be aware of. You’ll find work in almost every career imaginable, and the freelance jobs vary from small, temporary projects to long-term, full-time projects. These are lists of some creative freelance jobs;
Being a blogger is one of the best freelance jobs, Some bloggers make an income blogging for themselves. They find brand sponsors and advertisers or make their names as an influence and are invited to speak and attend events. Other bloggers might write for companies who may be paid by the hour or per post.
Another freelance writing jobs that can be done from home is copywriting. In this role, you create text for advertisements or any promotional material a business may ask of you. It might include creating content for a website, writing descriptions for an online shopping site, or creating captions for their social media posts.
3. Social Media Manager
As a social media manager, you will be responsible for managing all social media channels of business, gaining followers, getting the message and voice of the company across, and interacting with social media users in a customer-service-type role.
4. Graphic Designer
Businesses have a lot of design needs and don’t always have someone in-house to create the content. If you have a design background and want to work on charts, web pages, printed materials, and more, you can create these in your home office. Being a graphic designer is one of the rich good freelance jobs you can get yourself in.
You should have a professional and/or academic background with graphic design and experience using design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
5. Logo Design
Startups and clients that don’t have a designer in-house are often looking for a logo designer. Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and 99 Designs are great freelance websites to find initial clients.
6. Copy Editor
If you’re a grammar lover who always ends up finding typos, copy editing could be a great gig for you. You’ll proofread and edit text for websites, books, curriculum, magazines, and any other written work that is published.
7. Voiceover Acting
Have you ever wondered about those voices in movie trailers? Those are done by voice actors. Voices are needed for commercials, television, movies, and even video games.
8. Naming and Branding Consultant
Companies often need assistance with naming and developing a brand around their new products. If you have a creative mind and you have a way with words, this could be a great freelance job for you.
If you have an at-home studio, you can shoot portraits from there. Alternatively, provide editing and retouching and work from home. If you’re looking for something more casual and have a large portfolio, you can sell your photos on websites like Society 6.
Create images for projects like books, magazines, cards, advertisements, posters, murals, and web graphics. The illustration is less technical than graphic design and often allows the user to work on fun projects, like children’s books!
Administrative or Technical Freelance Jobs
11. Administrative Support/Assistant
The popularity of remote assistant’s freelance jobs is increasing. You may be a personal assistant for a single person. You will do tasks such as data entry, calendar management, replying to emails, creating or paying invoices, or taking phone calls. You could also be providing administrative assistance to a company and helping on a larger scale.
If you speak multiple languages, your skills are in demand as a translator. You may translate articles, instructions, books, curriculum, movie scripts, legal documents, and more.
A ton of translator freelance jobs is readily available on most online communities and websites.
Transcribers listen to something said aloud and write it down into a document. This might be a speech, a webinar, a video conference, or anything else that doesn’t yet exist in written form. This kind of work requires careful listening and is usually paid hourly.
14. App Developer
If you have the skills to create mobile apps, you can do it from home. Ideally, you’ll have clients from previous experience, but freelance websites like Upwork and People Per Hour have listed opportunities.
15. Data Entry
This job isn’t creative or glamorous, but if you’re patient and can type quickly, then you’ll find data entry pretty straightforward. You’ll be given information to transfer into a document per the client’s wishes. This is a great way to get some experience for other jobs that require administrative work.
You can write computer software and code from anywhere as long as you have a computer and the Internet, so why not do it from home? The increase in tech companies means there is a lot of work available, and small business and individuals are always looking to create their own websites. There’s no shortage of work for experienced programmers.
If you have a legal background, there is a large market for legal services on freelance sites. Clients are seeking contract review, legal research and writing, IP and trademark guidance, patent information, and more. A great place to look for work is with startups who need some legal advice to get started.
18. Customer Service
Provide a positive experience for customers through email, phone calls, or chat support. This role is a little less flexible than some others as it’s likely that you’ll have to be at your computer or phone at a specified time, but least you’ll still get to it from your kitchen table or couch!
19. User Experience Designer
If you have a UX background, help clients create better, more accessible, and more useful and useable products. Before looking for work, make sure your portfolio and resume are up-to-date, as user experience jobs can be competitive.
Fitness Freelance Jobs
20. Personal Trainer
There are various opportunities for fitness jobs at your local gym and community center, but you can also offer your services as a trainer from your own home. If you have a home gym or ample workout space, you can help clients gain strength and reach their health goals without leaving home.
21. Yoga Instructor
Go teach at a studio? “Namaste” at home. If you have a yoga room or studio space at home, host classes. If not, you can record lessons and release them online.
22. Nutrition Consultant
If you are passionate about helping others eat well, become a nutrition consultant. You will have to have some education and experience before starting.
You’ll get to work one-on-one with clients and quite literally help them change their lives through weight loss, disease treatment, or disease prevention through the food they eat. You can hold sessions on the phone or through video chat.
23. Wellness Coach
As a wellness coach, you’ll assist clients in practicing healthier habits depending on their needs — like developing a nutrition or exercise plan, for instance. Like nutrition consultants, many wellness coaches use the phone or Skype to interact with their clients, so you don’t have to have an office. You can meet with clients one-on-one or host group sessions.
Education Freelance Jobs
If you’re a whiz at math or didn’t find the SAT painful, you should look into working as a tutor. You can help students master their skills via video chat. You’ll be able to find clients in a variety of locations instead of solely in your neighborhood. Advertise your skills on your own or use existing companies like Preply to start out.
25. ESL Tutor
Are you a native English speaker? Many people around the world want to learn English! Sites like English Tutor Live connect tutors with learners on Skype from all around the world!
26. Curriculum Developer
If you have an education background, there’s a lot of opportunity for curriculum content writing and development. Needs vary from elementary schools to graduate degree programs.
Traits and Characteristics Needed as a Freelancer
There are a few qualities you should possess to set yourself up for freelance jobs. While not an all-encompassing list, these important characteristics will give you an idea of where you should focus.
There’s no boss watching you out of the corner of their eye or colleagues to judge you when you spend an hour online shopping instead of working. Discipline is necessary to stay on track.
Persistence is always important, but particularly when you’re just getting started as a freelancer and desperately trying to track down work.
There’s one word you’ll hear more than anything as a freelancer: no. Rejection is the name of the game, and you’re going to need to let it roll off your back.
You’re responsible for a lot of different tasks. You need to keep track of your income and expenses. You need to promptly reply back to client emails and stay on top of your deadlines. You need to keep your files sorted and your workload streamlined.
You don’t necessarily need to be outgoing in the traditional sense, but you do need to be able to be a little aggressive in order to land new clients. If you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to be comfortable networking and approaching strangers, whether you’re doing it in person or digitally.
Being a freelancer involves a lot of communication. You need to be willing to have the hard conversations—like negotiating a higher rate or breaking up with a client—and handle them tactfully and professionally. There’s no boss or other colleague to take care of that dirty work for you.
Ready to Become a Freelancer?
Finding freelance jobs doesn’t have to be hard. With the right skill for freelancing, fitting in most freelance jobs will fall in more sooner
Without further ado, all I can say is this: there are more benefits of freelancing than what I have illustrated. However, it’s not a lifestyle that can fit everyone, and if you are willing to choose a stable office-job instead of jumping from project to project, it’s more than alright. Even more – if you do plan to take a sabbatical and still to have some income stream, no matter the setting, remember that freelancing is an option worth taking into account.
Cover image by @annaauza