Every person has his own dream. For some of us, it’s a stable job with the promise of promotion. For others, it’s a house and lot investment. For the younger generation of professionals, however, it comes in the form of flexibility and career freedom.
The growing popularity of the freelance life comes as no surprise, with more and more individuals opting to become their own bosses over working in a cubicle. Being in charge of your time and working from anywhere seems like a dream, but underneath it are struggles freelancers face on a daily.
If you’re considering transitioning to the digital nomad life, here are 10 realities the freelancer life brings.
1. Tendency to feel isolated
Working from home can give you the peace and quiet you need to be productive and relaxed, but it can get lonely, too. While your peers are in their offices, you’re likely to be left with little chances to socialize for most part of the day.
2. There are no benefits
Freelancing is considered working as a self-employed individual. As such, no client will give you the health, housing, or retirement benefits you would normally get from an office-based job.
3. The income fluctuates
Clients come and go, and so does your income. For most freelancers, keeping their cashflow is a challenge that they need to work on regularly.
4. There’s a lack of security
Unlike office jobs that promise tenure, most freelancer jobs run on a per project basis. Once the task is over, there’s no assurance that you will get hired by the same client, or when you’ll find a new one to fill the gap.
5. Always on-call
Because you’re working with your own schedule, it’s important to always be responsive to your clients when they ping you. This gives them the assurance that you’re working on your tasks, and it’s a good indication of your work ethic.
6. Hunting for clients is exhausting
The freelance network is huge, but clients are few. It can be challenging to look for new clients, especially when your projects with current ones are about to end. This is usually where most freelancers find the most difficulty with, and is also a reason why others go back to the office-based career.
While there are a ton of online tools now that help out with this task, such as an email lead generation software or a LinkedIn lead generation tool, it remains a difficult task for the self-employed worker.
7. It’s a tight competition for pricing
Because freelancers are elbow-to-elbow in getting new clients, you have to adjust your prices to close projects. Sometimes, this means going below the usual rate you would charge.
8. Temptation to slack off
When your bed is within reach, it’s hard to abandon work for a quick nap. Procrastination is difficult to resist when you’re working from home, especially with the distraction of your TV nearby.
9. Deadlines are deadlines
If you’re working an office job, your work day ends when you leave the building. But if you’re a freelancer, that isn’t always the case. Because you don’t have work hours, you’re expected to deliver everything strict to the deadline. This can mean staying up until the wee hours of the day to accomplish a deliverable.
10. You’re at a greater risk of burnout
For a freelancer, the more projects, the better. This is especially true for those who want to keep their income at a regular rate. However, when you’re in charge of your time and your work, there’s a tendency to bite off more than you can chew. This puts you at a greater risk of burnout, which can have long-term effects on your overall well-being.
The freelancing world is fun and exciting, but it isn’t without challenges. You have to truly want the lifestyle to keep up with the realities it entails. It’s a long journey with no short-cuts and it calls for hardwork and dedication, but it’s not impossible to achieve. And once you do, you’ll be glad you took the risk.