Greater than 2 minutes, my friend!
Today I want to talk about the downsides of working as a freelancer. There is a lot of misconception when it comes to how much work it involves, the added responsibilities you have, etc., and so I wanted to address some of the things that I personally encountered in my freelancer life.
I was definitely guilty of having misconceptions when I first got into freelancing. It was a lot of trial and error, researching, listening to podcasts by seasoned translators, and reading blog posts and ProZ.com forums.
The main thing people think of when they think of freelancing is how much extra time you would supposedly have in your personal life. However, it’s important to not forget that by going out on your own you will then be responsible for wearing many different “hats” for a while, until you have enough revenue to outsource some of those tasks.
You will undoubtedly have to do the actual work (in my case translation), but you will also have to learn how to market yourself, make a website, launch social media campaigns; you will have to do your bookkeeping, and be your own collections agency once in awhile (unfortunately). You will be all your “O’s”: CEO, COO, CMO, CFO… as well as their employees too.
All that and we’re not even talking about the fact that freelancers can have serious “loner syndromes” because we’re usually working from home, on our own, with little to no face-to-face interaction with other humans. It’s certainly helpful if you’re naturally introverted (guilty!), but that’s not to say that freelancing isn’t suited for extroverted people too. Nowadays you have co-working spaces and endless WiFi at cafés where you can do your work and have some interactions with people. Being naturally outgoing can also help you in other aspects of the job, like networking.
It’s also worth mentioning that keeping your focus and motivation when working from home is often times harder than it sounds. Sometimes everything around the house feels more important and urgent than whatever work I have sitting in front of me in the computer. I’ve had to figure out tools to help me keep focused on the task I have to complete, and sometimes only getting out of the house will do the trick.
Should any of this discourage you from venturing on your own? I would say absolutely not. It’s hard work, but I personally find it very rewarding. The feeling of accomplishment when you realize your business is thriving because of all the work you put into it, is truly priceless. However, if you felt overwhelmed reading this post, and thinks that the challenges of working for yourself are not worth it, then maybe you should think about it a little longer.
In the end, we should all do what makes us the happiest – for some is a flexible work schedule with a few added responsibilities, and for others is a set routine with all the bureaucratic aspects taken care of. It all depends on what works for you.
What other challenges have you faced as a freelancer that you hadn’t anticipated? Comment below!
Visit my blog: lifeintranslation.me
*Article originally posted in Life in Translation on 07/10/17
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