Freelancing Work: Flop or Feat, It’s Up to You
A gig is defined as a temporary job with an uncertain future. But getting started in the gig economy means that you are in control of your own future. Keep reading for more information on why a career as a freelancer is a viable option in today’s tech-driven economy.
Born for business
If you don’t mind taking risks and have the ability to adapt to an ever-changing market, you already possess two of the most important traits of a freelance entrepreneur. You’ll also need problem-solving skills and be willing to accept criticism from customers and competitors alike. Drive and determination will give you a competitive advantage in a world where, according to Entrepreneur, freelancers account for more than one-third of the U.S. workforce.
What you’re worth
There are almost as many different types of freelance work as there are freelance workers. Money explains that some of the most successful gig workers earn more than $100 per hour. Some skills are more valuable than others, with network analysis topping the list of most lucrative freelance skills at $200 per hour. Your earning potential, however, is not defined by a list. No matter your skill set, there is likely a way to earn money in today’s sharing economy. In addition to computer and creative work, you can become an entrepreneur by providing ride-share services, running errands for busy professionals, or selling homemade crafts online.
Your first gig job is perhaps the most important because it will give you the confidence to seek other self-employment opportunities. Forbes contributor Susannah Breslin explains, however, you must be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. This first gig will also allow you to determine your rates based on a number of factors including the time it takes to complete the job and, if applicable, the cost of materials needed.
If you’re looking to sell service as opposed to products, you can get started today by looking online for freelance work. Freelancers utilizing work platform sites are hypercompetitive and, like you, often use them as a springboard for launching their own independent careers. These first few gigs may not be the highest paying, but they are a valuable learning experience.
Prior to entering the world of entrepreneurship, you’ll also need to understand the fundamentals of running a business. This includes how to manage your time, set up a functional workspace, handle business accounting, and deal with customers on a daily basis. Contact your local chamber of commerce or county clerk to find out if you will be required to obtain a business license or, if you’ll need to interact with customers face-to-face, if your home is in a zone that allows home-based businesses.
Pros and cons
There are definite benefits to working for yourself, including having a flexible schedule and deciding which clients you want to work with. Monster also cites an unlimited earnings potential and nonexisting commute as other appealing aspects of entrepreneurship. But there’s also a dark side that you’ll need to consider. Being a freelancer means that you won’t have a consistent cash flow. You’ll also have to juggle multiple clients and will lose your company-sponsored benefits, such as a 401(k) and health insurance. Continuously working alone can also affect your mental health and leave you feeling isolated and constantly stressed.
For all its ups and downs, being a freelance worker offers one thing that being an employee never can: ownership. As a small business owner/freelancer/entrepreneur, you get to take ownership in your business but also in the pride you feel when creating success. Today’s technology has made entrepreneurship an exceptional option, especially for those of you who are tired of being paid pennies on the dollar of your actual worth.