Have you more than once come across a friend skeptical about the way you work independently when you decided to quit the office and set up a productivity-conducive workstation at home?
Has it bothered you and made you think that perhaps freelancing is not a very plausible option for career growth?
Well, you and every second person in the world must have gone through that. And sometimes you couldn’t help but either cringe or be indignant about deciding to be your own boss.
For many of you freelancers, here are the six most common false impressions that people make about the kind of job that you do.
It’s a slacker. You’re probably just sleeping all day.
There may be a number of freelancers who take all the chances they get at slacking and making it seem like things are not busy. But really, most of you will agree with me that freelancing is never a no-brainer nor a slacker. We could get really swamped with shitload of work that we need to work on a schedule to effectively manage work-life balance.
Most freelancers keep themselves busy with attending client discussions, meeting with prospects, taking online lessons to gain advanced knowledge, running errands, on top of running the business.
The impression that freelancers are sloppy and not as hardworking as the 8-hour-plus-breaks employees is a total myth.
Freelancing can only make you broke with the kind of economy we have. Get a real job and take that as a side job.
While it is evident that a lot of traditional employees take freelance jobs because they needed something better than making ends meet, it doesn’t mean that freelancers are broke to their toes – making them miserable and desperate to make a comeback in the corporate world.
A massive number of independent contractors chose this career path as they like it better. Independence alone can be their very reason for doing so, whilst others can manage a better work-life balance in it, but it definitely does not involve misery and desperation.
It is true that majority of freelancers do not have the executive positions in most fields but it is expected that as more independent contractors get in the scene, it will be more realistic to tell the happy and excellent freelancers from the miserable and bad ones.
Eventually, people will get to realise to identify workers by their expertise and the range of services they deliver than the executive position they hold.
How does it feel to not have any boss?
It sure is very tempting to say that being your own boss is cozy and makes you worry-free.
However, in order to establish and maintain a trusted relationship between you and your client, you sometimes have to do how they see the job to be completed.
The best clients usually lay all their cards down about the project – what it is all about and how they expect it to be done. They often trust their contractor’s skills and rely that the quality of output delivered is at par with or would even exceed their expectations. Some clients though would try to be backseat drivers, telling you what to do the while time.
And then there are those who treat you like slaves, or any way they want to. This is where freelancers should draw the line and let their client know about good working relationships and expectations.
It must be a very exciting career for you.
One of the best things about working independently is that you get to choose which projects you want to work on. You might even have that chance of doing it your own way – aesthetics, style, individuality, speciality, and all that stuff.
However, you need to keep in mind that life is not a bed of roses. Boring projects will come along the way – revisions, accounting, additional research you already know about, and other stuff you think you would rather sleep on.
Some freelancers may also be satisfied with one regular gig rather than seeking new clients every now and then. They appreciate all the time they can have and spend with the people close to them, and they definitely fancy the idea of working with flexibility more than having to adjust to one client after the other.
Freelancer rates are too high that there’s always a way to haggle a lower fee.
They’re probably not going to tell this in front of you but you can be sure they are whispering it when you’re not around.
The truth of the matter is that a staggering number of independent contractors these days are charging less than what they should for their services, given the skill sets they have, because they thought it’s wise to directly base it on their hourly wages when they were still employees. Wrong. Just wrong.
Charging your clients for the service will depend on the market value of your skills. Freelancers usually have a look at their competition in the industry, compare it with what they were earning as former employees, and then directly compare it to what the a client-base pay their contractors on the average. This does not include the percentage of a justified amount of the tools you will need to pay for yourself and how much time it takes to seal a contract and other “back-office” tasks like invoices and reports. This is not overcharging. This is a realistic estimate of how much value you have as a service provider
Freelancers who think it is ideal to under-charge their clients for services actually hurt other freelancers. Besides, they are setting a really low standard for service delivery quality.
Freelancing cannot secure financial obligations.
Todays global economic and job market status does not provide security to our financial responsibilities. Everybody knows that. You could be working in a financial institution for twenty years and suddenly find yourself signing your exit forms and negotiating separation benefits due to economic crunch. Manpower downsizing happens all the time, together with the ever unpredictable changes in the market and company closures.
With freelancing, the stability of your earnings to sustain your obligations depend on how you provide valuable service to someone willing and able to pay for it. Your financial security depends on you and it’s not even just a mindset. The fact is that your set of actions and your attitude towards freelance work defines the amount of revenue you’re about to get.
The smart bunch knows how to do this. They shield themselves from the dangers of recession by having multiple channels of earnings. They consistently promote themselves to the global online market and create trusted connections with prospects and their peers. They also take every chance they get at learning advanced skills, and new ones, venture into new fields, while staying flexible.
When an economic slump happens, freelancers can rely on their versatility and their applied knowledge to keep them from being broke. Traditional employment can lure us with the illusion of financial stability, which can pose as a great risk.
If you’re a freelancer, feel free to let us know about other myths and doubtful remarks you have experienced and how you dealt with it.