Freelancers go by many names – contract workers, gig workers or consultants. One generic mode of operation is peculiar to all of them – they work for themselves. This number is growing steadily and at this rate, statistics from the Freelancers Union and Upwork show that just over half of the United States workforce will be made up of freelancers by 2027. As of now, it is estimated that about one in every three Americans (which is about 42 million people) are considered to be freelancers. This shows that this mode of operation isn’t new and that people are liking it.
Being your own Boss
Many people consider freelancing to be a career rewarding move – especially if the person is transitioning from a day-to-day job that is most likely boring or taking up too much time. In the end, most freelancers are working based on their skills or hobbies they decided to monetize. What other fulfillment can one be greater than doing what they love for a living?
Besides this, as a freelancer, you get to be your own boss and make critical decisions to better your business by yourself. All these perks and more, give that aura of liberation but definitely at a cost.
Challenges you may face
As a freelancer, you may face unexpected challenges along the way. You have to take up several roles that would ordinarily have been managed by different departments in an organization. In essence, you might have to take up the role of an accountant, project manager, salesperson, secretary, and even the manager. All of these can get rather overwhelming.
For some, their earnings might fluctuate, client base might reduce and each passing day just begins to feel the same. The aforementioned only happen without proper planning and consideration of the challenges that lie ahead – especially with respect to handling numerous aspects of the business.
Freelancer Tools to the rescue!
Luckily, for someone who is just starting out, there are several applications and products that when effectively utilized can help, most especially with managing workload – because this is one thing freelancers do not pay attention to very often.
Another thing they fail to pay attention to is system security and this is very necessary to prevent hacks and cyberattacks. A simple fix would be to get a VPN for improved security and minimize the risk of losing funds or sensitive information to some hacker over the Internet.
Areas of Work that Freelancers Need to Pay Attention to
Explained are some areas of work freelancers need to pay attention to, in order to improve themselves moving forward.
- Mindfulness: A lot of freelancers tend to overlook this concept and this is bad for self-development. Resources in this regard help freelancers manage their stress levels and keep their mental health at par. This helps reduce the following: illness time, stress, and mental breakdown from work related-issues. Examples of applications under this category are Oak Meditation, Workfrom, Noizio, etc.
- Learning: Although quite a number of people pay attention to this, it is still worthy of note that it be reiterated. Many freelancers fail to realize that continuous learning is one of the most valuable investments they can make throughout the course of their journey.
Besides the fact that this helps the freelancer get better at what they do, it also helps relieve stress. It helps people rekindle the desire to work, manage workload effectively, and in the long run, helps make more money. Examples are Blinkist, Castro 3, Audible, etc.
- Communication: Communication channels are very important in a freelancer’s toolbox. Of course, they are necessary to help keep in contact with both in-person and remote clients at different levels. There are several applications that give you the flexibility to chat at your own time and without distractions. Examples of these are Twist, Zoom, Slack, Squadhelp, etc.
- Productivity: Working for endless hours without achieving tangible results that are worth the spent time is not the best way to go for a freelancer. In order to be productive within the shortest possible time, it is necessary for every freelancer to be able to optimize the time they spend effectively.
Examples of ways this can be achieved are by taking notes in meetings, breaking work down into smaller deliverables, and most especially, organizing your to-do list in order of importance. Applications that help with these are Notion, Calendly, Trello, Jira, etc.
- Finance: This is one of the core components of freelancing that should be handled with care and precision. The task in this area does not just end at keeping track of income and expenditure, it also concerns the ability to file taxes, calculate Returns on Investment (if need be) and even send professional invoices to clients so payments can be made. Examples are Wave, Xero, AND Co, etc.
All these and more, when properly tended to will go a long way in assisting the freelancer and boosting their business to higher levels.