With 12 million registered freelancers on Upwork and the number of UK self-employed workers aged 16-24 almost doubling since 2001, could freelancing be your way forward?
Mental health, finances, job security and satisfaction, in addition to the need for flexibility, are just a few reasons that many people worldwide are ditching their 9 to 5 schedule in order to be their own boss!
In Fiona Thomas’ book Out Of Office she provides invaluable tips, tricks and advice for everything you could want to know before and during taking the leap into freelance.
12 Benefits of Freelancing
Sense of Freedom
Having to work around red tape or within specific boundaries can make us feel awful. Research found that having control over our own schedule is a highly sought-after benefit and improves job satisfaction.
Being your own boss means that as long as you have a paying client and the capacity to do the work you’ll always have a job.
Break Through The Career Ceiling
Freelancing lets you control your own journey. It’s much quicker (and more fulfilling) than trying to clamber up the ladder and fight off competition to snatch the CEO spot.
“Want to be in charge of a business?
Start your own.”
No More Commuting
With freelancing there is no more running for the bus, no more scraping your car in the cold of winter and no more sitting in evening rush hour traffic.
You Can Travel
This might involve renting in Europe for six months and then uprooting to Thailand. Others might actively look for freelance projects based in another country to give themselves an excuse to temporarily relocate.
Flexibility For Childcare
Having one parent with a flexible schedule adds more money to the pot and has the potential to keep childcare costs low.
Flexibility For Those Coping With Illness / Disability
In America, one out of five freelancers face health challenges that would prevent them from working if it wasn’t for freelancing.
Mental Health Benefits
Working in a toxic work environment with an anxiety disorder or depressive tendencies can be very difficult. Shedding this weight and working from home can significantly boost happiness levels.
Design Your Own Career And Avoid The Pigeonhole
Nobody has just one passion or skill. Even if you’re obsessed with fashion, the chances are that you will probably also excel in another creative area, such as photography or interior design.
If you can get hands-on experience in your industry by setting up your own freelancing business, then go for it. No amount of training compares to actually doing the job yourself, day in, day out.
You Might Just Get To Make A Difference
Freelancing offers you a blank slate and the chance to make the most out of your skills in an area that you are passionate about. Going freelance means that you can address some of the issues that currently make your working life difficult.
I had a feeling, a need to see what I was capable of. Maybe all you have is an urge. A sense you are destined for something different.
Me, I was curious. And they say that’s what killed the cat.
Well, I guess I was ready to be a dead cat.
This extract is from Out Of Office by Fiona Thomas (Trigger Publishing, £9.99).