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Everyone dreams of controlling their own time and pace, being free to do whatever they want on any given day, and just generally being not tied down to one company. If these things ring particularly true for you, then you’ve probably heard of freelancing. It’s not exactly a new story anymore; freelancing has been popular for quite some time now, but as years passed, it gains more and more notoriety that ignoring its potential benefits cannot simply be ignored. However, do the benefits outweigh the cost?

Not for everyone

Perhaps the pandemic has affected your job, and you’re looking for extra income. Or maybe you want better working terms to get a good work-life balance. Whatever your reasons are, it’s best to keep in mind that freelancing is not for everyone. It is still a job, and work can sometimes be hard. But it’s work under terms you’ve agreed with your clients.

Understand that freelancing is not for you if you prefer the sweet, stable salary from being employed by a company. If you’re a freelancer, you’re responsible for finding your clients and managing your workload, income, and tasks. This means not having any work means not receiving any money. Be prepared to have some emergency money or a backup plan to help you make it through between contracts. It’s also not for those who like hopping from project to project. But by the very nature of being interested in freelancing, you probably don’t mind that. Although it can be quite jarring to juggle multiple contracts if you’re up for some multitasking, then freelancing is for you. A leading freelancing website’s recent financial soar seems to indicate people are beginning to accept the terms of freelancing—it just might be time for you to make the jump as well.

Know your skills, and let people know

Before you put your foot in the wonderful world of freelancing, ask yourself: what are my skills, and can I earn from them? You probably won’t stray too far from your former industry, but what else can you do that gives more weight to your current skill set? Know what you can do, find the value in your skills, and advertise it.

Many freelancers use a website with a sample of their skills. If you’re an artist, it’s wise to have a website that acts as your portfolio. Programmers would have a portfolio of projects they’ve worked on. Being a freelancer means that you’re your own boss, and that also means advertising your product—which is you and your skills. Once you know what your skills are, don’t be afraid to put your name out there. Otherwise, your clients won’t know you.

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As a side gig

Even if you’re not planning to quit your day job, it helps to have added income. There are freelancing jobs that don’t require intensive dedication and only ask for small outputs, like a short article or coloring an almost-finished artwork. This is of particular interest to those who lost their jobs from the pandemic or are working reduced work hours.

There’s a lot of demand for a specific set of skills nowadays. You might be surprised that you have some of them and that they don’t require too much commitment, letting you keep your day job and use this as additional income. You can be part of a tuition agency and teach English to non-native English speakers living on the other side of the world, or you can write about facts regarding the planet Mars for a science blog. Once again, if you know your skills, you can find a job for yourself. And that job might not even ask for much; only a few hours a day, and you’re good.

Invest in your gear

Before you get your feet wet, make sure you’re well-equipped. Whatever your skills may be, it’s best practice to have the proper equipment to accomplish your task. Your gear doesn’t have to be expensive; for most freelancing gigs, an adequately powered laptop is enough. So if you’re still donning a computer from 5 years ago, perhaps it’s better to upgrade first before taking on your first project.

Freelancing has never been easy. Some services connect freelancers to businesses, and with the current situation all over the world, it might just be what’s needed. Companies are looking for temporary help, and employees are looking for temporary jobs to cover their bases. Now is the best time to brush up on your skills and use them to help make things a bit better for you.

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