When you’re considering freelancing, you ask yourself a very important question. “Is freelancing risky?” After answering this question with the obvious “yes,” you ask yourself a second question. “Is it too risky?” Well, my question to you is, “how much risk are you willing to take?”
The first thing you have to know is that freelancing is extremely different from a full-time on-site job. That bi-weekly paycheck and set dollar amount (you’re used to getting) go right out the window. When it comes to making money, I’m sure other freelancers can agree that no month is ever the same. Sometimes your months are great. Sometimes they’re so-so. Then, there are those months where you try to figure out how to make rent.
Also, when it comes to finding freelancing gigs, you 100% have to be committed. If you’re not expecting to put in the work, you’ll find out the hard way just how difficult it is to find jobs. With a full-time position, you go on an interview and if all goes well, that role is yours. As a freelancer, you’re constantly being interviewed. At first, you might think this is irritating. After all, doesn’t your resume and cover letter explain everything about you? The answer to that is no. PDFs and pieces of paper don’t tell an employer what it’s like to work with you, whether or not you’re deadline-driven, or how good or bad your finished products are.
As far as your commitment, you have to be able to look and follow leads, conduct research, join job sites, make cold calls, work your old connections, and establish new ones. I am a freelance writer, and I know that it’s not simply about copywriting and content creation. It’s two-fold in that you not only do the work, but you also do the work to get the work.
Freelancing in a time of COVID-19
Now, I’d like to be clear that the beginning of this post talks about freelancing in general. What we have right now is a special situation where a lot of people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. So let’s go back to the same question, “Is freelancing risky?” Right now, I say, “absolutely.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the freelancing pool has exploded. How do I know this? Well, recently when applying for jobs, I’ve seen application numbers in the thousands for one position. One employer even told me that he took his position down, after a couple of hours, due to an overwhelming amount of responses.
So what does this mean for career freelancers? Well, the jobs we’re applying for just got that much harder to land.
My advice to all my fellow freelancers is to keep on applying. I know the competition is fierce and the rejections hurt (especially when they come in great numbers). Try not to let it sway you from bidding on those jobs you really want. It could only take one company project to secure a long-term relationship.
As far as the amount of risk involved in freelancing, I feel like that’s half the fun of it (the fun of the hunt, if you will). Please keep in mind that I’m not talking about the extreme case we find ourselves in right now with COVID-19. It’s unnerving knowing how many people need work compared to the number of freelancing gigs available.
What I’m talking about is on a regular basis (pre-COVID-19 and hopefully post). It’s exciting looking for jobs, hitting up connections, and making cold calls to do everything you can to work with a company. When you get that call that you were the one chosen, there’s no better feeling. Plus, what you put into it, you get in return. If you want to be successful, you’ll live and breathe the job search.
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