Making the leap: How to make the transition to full-time freelancing

Do you have enough of your 9 to 5 work routine? From behind your cubicle are you dreaming about making money from home enjoying what you are doing, your coffee and your cartoon printed pyjama? More and more people nowadays decide to give up their boring office life and become freelancers.

However, regardless of how attractive the idea of being your own boss may look like, in a world coping with unexpected financial crashes and economic instability, it is better to carefully plan your move, in order to make the transition to full-time freelancing a real success.

Here are some tips how to do it right.

What kind of freelancer are you?

Not all jobs suit the freelancing status, though. For instance, if you are an engineer or a secretary or a doctor, you better find out another skill that you can cultivate in order to launch into a new freelancing career. If you are a graphic designer, writer, PR consultant or translator finding your independence from the cubicle would be easier as these kinds of jobs are traditionally associated with freelancing activities.

Learn and read as much as you can

Either you are planning to make a dramatic career switch or you want to continue doing your usual work but from your home office, learning and getting enough information about your new status is very important. With more and more people on the freelancing boat lately, it is relatively easy – and free – to find valuable information. There are many blogs and books and experts sharing their experiences, often completely for free. Visit your local library for some interesting resources or browse the Amazon.com for the most successful books for freelancers.

If you consider that you need to take some extra classes, the Internet is also here to help. Websites like Udemy or Coursera are offering various classes that help to improve your skills.

For instance, if you dream to be a freelance writer, speaking the language is not enough. You need to get or polish specific training in different writing styles – business, travel, literary. Check the classes offered by the General Assembly in your area, maybe there are some interesting offers for you.

Take it easy

Dreaming of being free is one thing, starting a completely new life is a move that should be prepared carefully, though. Especially when your income is an important part of the family budget, you need to act with responsibility. Put aside some savings at least for the first months, find out what kind of projects may be available for you, start to do the freelance work in the after hours time after your regular work, check the options available on different freelancing platforms.

Connect, connect, connect

Being a freelancer means to find out available projects on short, medium or, if you are lucky enough, on a long term. Among your soon-to-be former colleagues, identify which one has potentially some interesting freelancing offers for you. Check the local Meetups, especially those dedicated to freelancers and entrepreneurs and introduce yourself and your services. The more connected you are the better for getting in touch with reliable employers.

Do the math

Maybe one of the most important moves that should be done much before the freelancing work as such starts are to calculate your monthly budget. The best is to introduce the calculations in an Excel doc: rent or mortgage, food, children education or other special costs, debts, gas, social and health insurance. You have to be sure that your freelancing projects can cover at least these basic needs.

Check the market

If you are a writer you need to identify your specific niche that qualifies you better than anyone else. For example, you know a lot about horses. Therefore, start getting in touch with companies that require specific knowledge in this domain. In order to find the right clients, extensive research is needed otherwise you just risk to be one of the too many writers roaming around without a clear target.

Working from home, it is still work

Your dreams about freedom will be cut short when you will realize that, in fact, working from home may be more than the usual 9 to 5 job. Sometimes, you can even work three days in a row and with a highly competitive market, you have to be always the best if you want to keep your place and your income.

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