Feel like you need a change of career in 2020? Or at least a change of lifestyle? Then freelancing could be the answer. Unlike plunging into a totally new sector or job role, freelancing is a great way of applying your current skills and experience in a new way, giving you freedom and flexibility over how you work and opening up a whole host of new opportunities.
Many people have the dream of going freelance but, if you’ve always held a permanent role, it’s natural to feel nervous about making the jump into the world of self-employment. Will you find enough work? What about job security? Will you miss the comradeship of the office environment?
Feeling unsure? Then have a read of our 20 reasons why now is a great time to go freelance:
- Demand is rising: Research has shown that 64% of firms now rely on freelancers as part of their workforce. And with businesses increasingly looking for responsive and flexible talent, this is only set to increase in the coming months and years. That means there’s plenty of work out there for talented and hard-working professionals.
- A growing network: The growing popularity of freelancing means that going it alone doesn’t have to be lonely. There are now 2 million freelancers across the UK and lots of ways to get connected to others like you, including meetups, coworking spaces, and platforms like The Work Crowd.
- Commuting makes no sense: Who says you have to be in an office to work effectively? With freelancing, you can work wherever you feel comfortable, whether that’s at home, in a local café, or on the beach while jet-setting around the world.
- Cool workspaces: Speaking of which, freelancing has been revolutionised by coworking spaces, which have popped up all over the place, catering especially for the freelance and entrepreneurial lifestyle. They’re cool, comfy and make traditional office spaces look seriously dull.
- No more nine to five: If you’re one of those people who doesn’t thrive on the traditional nine to five (and quite frankly, who is?) then freelancing is perfect. Want to take Mondays off? Go for it! Prefer to work late rather than rise early? Not a problem. As long as you get the work done, you can work whenever makes sense for you.
- More time: On top of that, managing your own hours is great for your work-life balance, giving you back more of the precious commodity that is time. Whether you’re juggling family responsibilities, want to focus more on a hobby, or simply like an hour extra in bed in the morning, freelancing helps you to prioritise what’s important.
- More rewarding: We regularly hear reports of disengagement and dissatisfaction in the workplace, but as a freelancer, you have a high chance of side-stepping these common woes. Studies have shown that freelancers are happier, more optimistic and have a higher level of purpose than those in permanent roles. Win.
- Higher earning potential: What’s more, freelancers generally get paid more than in-house employees, so you’re likely to see your earnings rise, without having to pester for that promotion. That isn’t to say there aren’t trade-offs, for example, as a freelancer, you have to forego employment benefits, paid holiday etc. But the higher rates should mean you’re still better off overall.
- Be the boss: If you’re someone who hates being told what to do and how to do it, then you’ll be in your element as a freelancer. As the boss of your own micro-business, you’re in control and don’t need to answer to anybody – other than your clients, of course. Feel free to follow your instincts, let your creativity run wild, and take all the glory for your successes.
- Choose your clients: Being your own boss also means that you can choose who you work with, unlike when working in an agency or in-house. You can opt to work with only those companies that you like and find most interesting, and, on the flipside, decline or resign any that you don’t.
- No office politics: Few offices are without their share of sucking up, gossip and powerplay, with research showing that a third of Brits are unhappy at work as a result. Thankfully, with freelancing, you can wave goodbye to all the stress of office politics. All you need to worry about is keeping your clients and yourself happy. Simple.
- A confidence boost: Making the jump to freelancing isn’t without its challenges, but the upshot is that it will give you a huge confidence boost. Leaving your comfort zone is never easy, but it’s the only way to prove what we’re capable of, and freelancing will give you loads of opportunities to do just that.
- Happier clients: Bit controversial this one, but many freelancers will tell you that they have happier clients as a freelancer than they ever did when working for an agency. The reason? As a freelancer, you can offer eons of experience and dedicated, consistent support, at a fraction of the cost of most agencies. And who doesn’t want happy clients?
- Get paid for all your effort: In a permanent role, you get paid the same whatever happens – in most cases it doesn’t make any difference how much effort you personally put in, or what results you achieve. In freelancing, that’s all turned on its head, and you can be confident that you will personally be rewarded for all the effort you put in, ensuring that you never get overlooked.
- …and for your overtime: Same goes for overtime. As a freelancer, there’s no more working for free until 11pm to finish off a client presentation or giving up your Sunday to help staff an event. When you’re your own boss, and charging by the day or project, you can ensure you’re fairly compensated for all the time you put in.
- Learn new skills: You may not get the formal career development that you would in a permanent role, but that doesn’t mean freelancers don’t have plenty of opportunities for learning and development. In fact, you’ll learn lots of things that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise, for example negotiation, cash flow management and other commercial skills.
- More security: Lots of people worry about losing security when they become self-employed, but freelancing can actually be more secure than a permanent role. Yes, it might take a bit of time to build up your roster of clients, but once you’re established, you benefit from a diversified income stream, plus zero chance of redundancy.
- Technology and tools: What’s more, the growing freelance market has sparked a whole range of tools and technology to be developed, which make it easier than ever to stay on top of all your work and admin. From managing your finances, to finding work, or maximising your productivity, there’s an app to help streamline all aspects of your new lifestyle.
- The chance to grow: The fact that you’re thinking about freelancing means that there is an entrepreneurial spirit in there waiting to break out, and once you tap into it, who knows where it could take you? Lots of freelancers are of course, more than happy working alone, but it’s nice to know that there’s the possibility of bringing in other freelancers to help you, and even starting your own fledgling agency if the mood takes you in the future.
- It’s the future: And finally, if you’re still not convinced, you can feel reassured that by going freelance you will be part of one of the biggest trends that has swept through the workplace in the last few years, and which promises to shape how we work for many more years to come. Some even predict that by 2027, the majority of the workforce will be made up of freelance workers. So, why not get ahead of the game!