The freelance and gig economy is here to stay, which is great news for people everywhere looking for alternative sources of income that allow you to really play to your strengths.
Here at SHEmazing we are huge advocates of women empowerment, and financial independence as a strong route towards this. That’s why freelancing is a great option to look into, especially as it gives you a glimpse into what it’s like to be your own boss.
Read on below for some key tips on freelancing when you’ve still got a full-time job.
Setting boundaries is the first (and perhaps most vital) step in establishing your freelance career. Lifehacker’s guide to scheduling your freelance work recommends structuring your day around your body’s natural rhythms, and using this tip can help you figure out when to slot in your freelance work around your regular job. For instance, morning risers can wake up a little earlier to get some work done. Meanwhile, night owls can take some time to rest during the day and use their evenings to be more productive.
You should also be sure to take on as much work as you can reasonably manage. If your freelance work causes you to stay up late or work overtime, you’re putting yourself at risk of burning out.
This will also end up negatively impacting your current full-time job, which may end up causing a lot of problems in the long run. Give yourself more time than you might think you need for a freelance job. For example, if you’re writing an article that could theoretically be done in two days, space it out and request that you have at least three or four days to work on it.
Freelancing inevitably entails a lot of trial-and-error when it comes to finding productivity hacks that work best for you. Whether it’s writing goals down on a piece of paper, giving yourself tiny breaks in between, or even asking someone to hold you accountable by checking in on your progress, juggling your freelancing with your day job means you’ll have to find ways to be extra productive.
You should also find a space to do your freelance work. The Irish Times notes that companies are veering towards co-working spaces, which have been become favourites among freelancer for many years now. The prevalence of freelance work and the rise of the gig economy is exactly why you’ll find co-working spaces in practically every major city; US-based company Industrious cites a focus on amenities and workspace options as a key draw for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike. As most co-working spaces offer flexible membership packages, it’s certainly worth looking into — think of it as a career investment. Having this physical boundary is important because it separates you from your office while still putting you in a productive environment.
Find your network
Last but not least, your freelance career is only as good as your network. Not only does a good network help land you clients, but it also gives you a support system for people who are going through the same struggles that you might be facing. Fellow freelancers can talk you through pressing issues like how much to charge, how to deal with picky clients, and the like.
The added benefit of freelancing is that it opens you up to a global network. According to finance writer Maurie Backman, networking is extremely important especially to freelancers who are just starting out. Because when you’re still working a 9-5 job, you don’t want to dive in blindly. By building your network, you get to establish a solid base of clients and develop relationships with potential collaborators. Whether it means joining online forums or networking events, it’ll help you have enough customers ready as soon as you’re ready to freelance full-time.
While some are starting to look into freelancing as a full-time job, for others the security that comes with your day job isn’t something they can give up just yet. If you fall under the latter category, it’s important to carefully plan out how your freelance career will complement your current day job.