Five On Friday: Freelance Edition


Your biggest break can come from never quitting. Being at the right place at the right time can only happen when you keep moving toward the next opportunity.
– Arthur Pine

 
There was a time when it was normal to work for one company for your entire adult life. You’d get in at the ground level and work your way up, eventually earning that gold watch and settling into retirement. (Un)fortunately, that time is definitely not now.

We live now in a society of freelancers, go-getters, multitaskers, and entrepreneurs. We’re part-time writers who work from coffee shops and take photography gigs on the side, and everybody knows somebody who either works for a startup or started one up themselves. And guess what?
 
Freelancing is only becoming more popular.

The number of independent workers in America is expected to swell to 24 million in the next five years—and that’s not due solely to the employable demographic’s rush for independence. Companies, too, are embracing the opportunity to keep their core staff to a minimum and hire freelancers as the need for work arises.
 
The Benefits of Freelancing

The obvious benefit here is the independence. You get to set your own hours and work on your own terms, completing your latest assignments in your pajamas if you so desire. If you need any more convincing than that, here are 20 more reasons why freelancing beats having a traditional 9-5.
 
How To Start Freelancing

Pick a marketable skill that you have (writing, photography, web development, graphic design, etc), put together a portfolio of your best work in that field, and start pitching yourself to potential clients. And remember, the more people you contact, the higher the chances that someone will like your work enough to pay you for it. For a more detailed discussion on how to start freelancing, check out this article.
 
How To Survive as a Freelancer

So you decided to follow the above steps and try your hand at freelancing. And while having no real obligation to wake up and go to work every morning is certainly nice, the key to being a successful freelancer lies in establishing a personal set of rules and guidelines that allow you to find balance between “I’m never waking up before noon” and “I haven’t slept in 36 hours because I have a deadline to meet.” If you need some help in that department, here is one helpful guide for how to make as a freelancer.
 
Most Importantly: Make Sure You Get Paid

No one likes to talk about money, and figuring out how much your services as a freelancer are worth can be very difficult—you don’t want to sell yourself short, but you don’t want to scare potential clients away with high rates, either. To help navigate pricing territory, this in-depth guide is a very worthwhile read.

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