Important questions to ask yourself before going freelance

Let’s be clear, deciding to go freelance is a big thing. 

That might be particularly the case if you are considering leaving permanent employment for the rather more dynamic but perhaps slightly riskier field of freelance activity.

Will you be suited to it? It’s difficult to say for certain but here are a few checklist points you may wish to use to ask yourself some fundamental questions:

  • do you like lengthy fixed-points of security?  If you do, you may need to think twice about launching into the freelance industry.  Freelance work tends to be of short to medium duration, highly dynamic and often involves a degree of flexibility about your work locations;


  • are you prepared to take seriously the need to protect your financial interests?  Permanent jobs provide a range of associated benefits including things such as pension rights, health insurance and so on.  Typically these will be missing from your employment as a freelancer and you will need to make arrangements to take out your own private cover in these areas.  For example, insurance companies such as Aon specialise in insurance for professional freelancers*;


  • do you enjoy a dynamic and constantly changing work environment?  If you do, you may find freelancing very attractive.  However, not everyone does and some people are happier in what may be considered to be a more routine and predictable work requirements type of environment;


  • are you achievement-oriented?  Freelance personnel are typically paid more than permanent employees, if all things are taken into account.  As a result, your customers expect you to deliver without problems and excuses.  If you fail to do so, don’t expect counselling sessions and remedial training, instead you’ll be shown to the door;


  • will you invest in your own training and development?  Remember, your customer organisations are extremely unlikely to pay for your training to keep your skills up-to-date and you marketable;


  • are you gregarious? You are likely to be regularly put into different groups of people and in order to be productive you need to able to build professional relationships with them as fast as possible. If you are the quiet and withdrawn type, this might be something you’ll struggle to achieve;


  • can you market yourself effectively? Of course, you also need to do so in order to secure permanent positions but in freelancing you would need to take on board things such as advertising your services and skills plus being very confident and self-assured during interviews.  Even more so than in the permanent employment domain, work is extremely unlikely to come and find you;


  • can you work on a self-motivated basis?  However hard a potential customer may try to integrate contract and permanent staff into effective work units, it is not unusual for contractors to find themselves slightly isolated in areas such as social events, team meetings in offices and internal communications.  If you are the sort who likes to feel always to be at the core of a team of smoothly integrated colleagues, in some environments freelancing might prove to be a challenge for you.

Just like any other area of commercial activity, freelancing isn’t necessarily for everyone.

However, it can be rewarding in all respects providing you understand exactly what it is that motivates and rewards you – other than money. 

If you can put ticks in the boxes to some of the above questions, you may really enjoy freelancing!      


About the Author

Jason Hulott is Director of SpeedieConsulting, the Finance and Insurance Marketing Specialists. We specialise in Insurance Marketing online. We provide a range of articles highlighting the importance of various types of insurance to both consumers and businesses.


Posted by on Feb 7 2014. Filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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