Freelancing has become a hugely popular career choice. However, many people have misunderstandings of the whole concept of what freelancing is, and what working on freelance jobs will be like. This has led to some people venturing into freelance life with unrealistic expectations, only to realize they had it all wrong.
Having the wrong idea about freelancing, might affect your judgment immensely if you are thinking about becoming a freelancer. For those who are already freelancing, you might be familiar with what happens when you tell a person what you do for a living.
This article explores nine of the most common myths about freelance jobs and will help you get the facts straight.
1. You work in your pajamas all day
When you’re a freelancer, the urge to work in your PJs is there. But most will not work in their PJs all day. A freelancer will try their best to create a work environment that encourages productivity.
PJs are associated with sleep, thus you want to develop a normal work routine where you wake up early, shower and get professionally dressed for the day to create a work mood. Other freelance jobs require meeting with clients, attending networking events or Skype calls, thus looking presentable is mandatory.
2. You have no boss
This statement is only true because you do not have an actual boss hovering around micromanaging your every move.
Not so fast though! As a freelancer, you are your own boss, manager, or CEO. The same way a manager is hard on the employees to get a job done, you have to be hard on yourself when it comes to making a client happy or meeting a deadline.
3. You can work whenever you want
You cannot think about having a freelance job without thinking about the freedom associated with it. The 9-5 rule does not apply to you. However, any freelancer will tell you that there is always a higher power that will take your flexible schedule and it narrow it down into a tight working plan. This could be your client’s needs, a deadline or paperwork. Your scheduled free time can easily become a busy night!
4. Freelance jobs are not full time
The flexible nature of freelance jobs leads to some people doing it alongside their regular jobs, like a side-hustle. However, the majority of freelancers are in it full time — its their only or main source of income.
5. Freelancing is less stressful than a 9-5 job
It is no secret that on the face of it, freelancing looks like taking candy from a baby, right? What you don’t know is that it’s even more stressful than a regular job.
Not to discourage you, but when you are a freelancer, you are a one-man show. You are in charge of marketing yourself, making clients happy, closing contracts, tracking invoices and payments and many more tasks and services. Sometimes it can be quite a lot on a person and you can get very minimal free time.
6. Freelancers only do things that excite them
How we wish this were true!
You might be the boss but your clients ultimately call the shots. Depending on the clients’ needs, you will get jobs that excite you because there are within your field of expertise, while on other days you will have to work on boring and challenging tasks.
You have got the liberty to say no to a boring job but the industry is competitive and you can’t risk turning down a freelance job opportunity because it’s boring.
7. Freelancers work from home
It goes without saying, having your home as your workplace is quite convenient.
“Luckily you don’t have to go to work” is quite a familiar response from people. However, due to the temptations surrounding your work environment while at home (TV, bed, household chores) and the fact that humans are social creatures, quite a few freelancers rent office space or work at a cafe away from home to avoid failing to meet deadlines due to distractions or falling into depression due to loneliness.
8. Freelancers are never short of work
Don’t expect that jobs will come rolling in simply by telling people that you’re a freelancer. Finding work and keeping it consistent will require a lot of your time, patience and effort. You will have to market yourself each day to get new clients, referrals, repeat clients and collaborations.
9. Freelance jobs offer a unreliable source of income
“How do you pay your rent? Freelancing is so insecure!”
The fact is that all jobs are insecure. The difference with freelance jobs is that your finanical security solely depends on you. You can maintain a steady flow of income during the low and high seasons by having multiple income sources through marketing yourself, forming new connections, learning new skills, programs and fields.
Wrapping it up
Freelancing can be a very lucrative business if you go into it with a clear head and the right information. Though some myths are partially true, do not jump into it if you are harbouring unrealistic expectations like the ones above. These myths are more likely to affect your performance and your relationship with your clients. What are you waiting for? Get started on your freelancing journey today!