Due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of working professionals were forced to rethink their careers. They had to find a way to combat the economic downturn caused by these unforeseen circumstances to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Freelancing quickly became a new avenue for displaced workers looking for jobs that aligned with their current profession. As a new graduate, you have the opportunity to pursue freelancing as a way to be your own boss if you have a strong entrepreneurial mindset. These positions allow for job flexibility and creative freedoms not available in traditional roles.
Interested in learning more about the future of the freelance industry and how to navigate it to boost your chances of establishing a successful career for yourself? Continue reading to learn the keys to capitalising on this industry, and how much you could potentially earn by setting your sights on one of these positions.
Is Freelancing the Future?
As businesses were forced to transition employees to remote positions after the rise of the pandemic, they could’ve never made the prediction that workers would grow to prefer their new set ups. After being exposed to the added benefits of working from home, there has been a 22% increase in remote work. Why such a dramatic increase? With the ability to design your work schedule to your preference, your physical and mental health can be more easily prioritised throughout your work week.
However, there are industries ignoring the trend and not supporting their employees’ new work preferences, sparking the increase in freelance work. Combined with the new wave of unemployed workers, freelancing has become a hot commodity among working professionals seeking new opportunities. A recent stat found that 64% of U.K. businesses plan to outsource work to freelancers in 2021.
Keys to Capitalise on the Freelancing Industry
Freelancing is a unique industry to pursue. Though it can be intimidating because your success is heavily dependent on your professionalism and work ethic, it can also be reinvigorating because you can function as your own boss and work on projects you are truly passionate about. If you’re just graduating from university, having some guidance as to how to manoeuvre your career in this industry would be incredibly helpful.
Below are a few suggestions to remember when first starting out as a freelancer searching for your next gig:
Know What Type of Freelancer You Are
It’s important to think about what type of freelancer you’ll want to be before pursuing job opportunities. As a gig worker, you can fit into two categories: independent worker or contingent worker. Independent workers, or freelancers, report to themselves and perform their own services for clientele. Contingent workers have an employer but have the job flexibility to work when they desire. These positions often come with less security and fewer employee benefits.
Establishing daily routines will help promote focus, productivity and performance as a freelancer. It can be difficult to remain on task with the luxury of being able to choose when you want to work. Making daily schedules and to-do lists will help add some accountability to completing your tasks for the day.
Find Passion Projects
Utilise your ability to choose the jobs you take by only selecting projects that you are genuinely passionate about. Finding a client project that aligns with your personal ideologies and values will allow you to produce high quality work that you’re invested in. This raises the potential of making the client a repeat customer. There’s also almost nothing better than being able to say you love the work that you’re doing to those who ask.
Working as a freelancer can limit the amount of social interaction you get on a weekly basis. Remember to make the effort to go out of your way to foster new professional relationships. Try finding co-working spaces and coffee shops frequented by like minded professionals.
How Much Do Freelancers Make?
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is an attractive career path to pursue, but is it one that you can rely on to support your livelihood? Being fully transparent, freelancing is many things, one of which being unpredictable. You have to be able to search for and secure your project independently to bring in the income you need. The average freelancer salary in the U.K. is £65,796.
Though this seems attractive, note that actual salary and compensation figures depend heavily on the specific industry, billing method, and professional experience.
Getting a grasp of the freelance industry and how to set yourself up for success is no easy task. However, the emergence of the pandemic has proven that people are more resilient than ever. We turn negatives into positives with almost no effort. Use the same perseverance to strive for the professional goals you have in mind ignoring the roadblocks that may be in your way. As a new found professional, you have the rest of your life to pivot your career as needed, so don’t be afraid to make a daring leap to try something new.