I’ve been a freelancer now for six years. It’s had its ups and downs, I’d be lying if I said every day was rosy. However, overall, it’s been life changing and a decision I’ve not regretted making (most of the time anyway).
The first step in the journey was moving to Bulgaria and working for an American SEO company. It was a brave one to take, mostly because I was leaving my family and friends behind but also because I knew very little about the country I was moving to or the people I would be spending the next couple of months with. All I knew was that I’d had enough of “working for the man”, slogging my guts out every week and having very little to show for it at the end of the month. We’d already had a taste of life and the prices in Bulgaria, having bought a house there and spending a couple of weeks there every year.
My first Bulgarian job, as previously mentioned, was for an American SEO company. I worked in the quality control department, listening to the customer service staff phone calls. After a few months of doing this an opening came up in the content side of the business. I proof read writers work before it was published on customer websites. It was then that I realised there was something I could do for myself. I was a native English speaker working in a country that was crying out for English writers. What did I have to lose? I handed in my notice and found my first writing gig. I’ve not looked back since.
So, what are the benefits of being a freelancer?
You Get to be Your Own Boss
This is probably the number one reason why people choose the freelancing route. It was certainly a big influence in my own decision. It’s a very liberating feeling to be able to clock in and out when you want to, not getting told off if you’re late and not having to tow the line and follow the lead of someone you really don’t respect.
You’re in Control
When you become a freelancer, you get to make your own decisions. Everything you do is up to you. if you choose to work in your pj’s in the middle of the night or sit by the pool and soak up the sun, it’s within the realms of possibility.
You Get to Spend Your Time How You Want To
If you choose a freelancing career there’s no 9 to 5 routine you have to stick to, unless you want to that is. We’ve all got times of the day when we’re more productive and others when we’d rather be doing something else. My most productive time is really early in the morning. This frees up the rest of my day for walking the dogs, pottering around the garden, sightseeing, shopping or sitting in a local café people watching.
You Can Work Anywhere
I’ve chosen to work in Bulgaria but theoretically, I could work anywhere I choose. Some days I end up going to a local restaurant and spending a few hours writing in their garden. I might write sat next to the pool. I’m in charge of where I work and as long as I meet my deadlines the client isn’t going to worry whether I’m at the top of a mountain, in a cool café, sat in the park or working through the night.
You Choose Your Own Clients
I’m still working on achieving this goal but I’m getting there. I’m looking forward to the day when I can ditch the clients I really don’t like working with and concentrate on writing about things that are close to my heart. This is one of the reasons I’ve started publishing more blog posts. It gives me a chance to flex my writing muscles and maybe influence some of the decisions my followers are making.
You Choose the Projects You Work On
This is another achievable goal that I’m getting closer to. I’m also painfully aware that there’s very little chance of me finding a job which interests and inspires me 100% of the time. I do spend a lot of my time involved in doing things I love but my goal is to increase it.
The rewards of being a freelancer are both financial and spiritual. The more work you put in the more money you can earn and the greater the satisfaction.
You Get to do Something You Love
Most successful freelancers are able to follow their passions and I like to think I fall into this category. You get to feel a certain sense of pride in a job well done and when your customers are happy with what you’ve produced it’s a great confidence booster.
Sounds like a pretty rosy career choice doesn’t it. Before you rush into work tomorrow and hand in your notice, spend some time researching your chosen area and if you wait a couple of days, I’m going to publish an article that highlights some of the downsides of being a freelancer. I’ll also be looking at some of the skills you need, because freelancing isn’t for everyone.