How I Transitioned from a Company Manager to a Full-Time Freelancer
Since 2015, there has been about 53 million Americans with freelance jobs, which now make up about 34 percent of the U.S. workforce according to a survey conducted by Edelman Berland. Over the next four years, millions of Americans will transition into freelance jobs, and there will be more than 40 percent of freelance workers by 2020.
Transitioning from an eight to five job to being a freelancer does not just apply in the U.S. alone. Millions of people from around the globe are now opting to leave their office desk and work their way into freelancing. Freelance jobs may seem more ideal compared to an eight to five job where a boss always looks over your shoulders, you’re enslaved by a performance bond, have the daily commute to work, and always having to look presentable; however, there are real struggles one must be aware of before packing your office belongings and waving your day-job goodbye.
My struggles are real
Transitioning from a company manager to a freelancer comes with struggles that make it a not-so-easy process. Here are some of the things you might have to anticipate:
- Making your parents understand
Planning to undergo a huge transition in your career is something to take seriously. Your parents will have doubts about it as this is new to them. Living in a generation far different from your parents’ orientation is to be considered. Discuss with them your plans and make them understand and believe that you know what you are getting into. Be patient and assuring.
- Living your life paycheck to paycheck
There will always be a stereotypical type of thinking that you are one week away from selling fruits and veggies at a morning market when doing a freelance job. It would be difficult for people who worked day jobs all their lives to believe and understand that you can actually make more money as a freelance worker.
- It can become a bit lonely at times
You will start to miss being in a sea of people from your former office. If you used to dislike being with too many coworkers before, you will surely miss them now — having people around to talk to about your work or just about anything. However, you may have new people to interact with as you go about your freelance business anywhere – coffee shops, stores, parks, etc.
Transitioning from a day job to a freelance job
- Prepare an action plan
You must take time to carefully plan your actions. Here are things you need to know before coming up with a solid action plan:
- Identify services and products you wish to offer clients.
- Determine your ideal clients.
- Build your digital footprint as a client strategy.
- Set up your preferred workspace.
- Determine your required skills. Are your skills enough? Or do you need to take extra courses to help you further?
- Know your required rate and monitor your work hours with the help of a time tracking application.
- Anticipate the challenges you may possibly face.
- Making connections and marketing yourself
The first thing you need to do is to get in touch with people you know in the industry — editors, publishers, assistants, or even writers. Inquire of any freelance gigs that they may know about. Solicit advise from editors or writers on writing techniques that suit you, and then start pitching those in your stories.
Another way in making connections is by contacting and meeting bloggers and writers to discuss possible freelance jobs. They may also be helpful in teaching you how to make better pitches for your freelance job.
- Learning how to be more financially responsible
Planning a transition into a freelance job is a big decision to make. Having enough funds/savings before jumping into it is vital because you may have to rely on your savings to cope with gaps and irregularities in payments from your prospective clients. Having saved enough money will provide and help you manage about half a year of your living expenses while waiting for bigger ROI from your freelance job.
Here are some sure fire plans to becoming more financially responsible (a) set a solid financial plan; (b) spend wisely and smartly; (c) find ways to increase your monthly income; and (d) set up an automatic transfer to your savings account.
- Going that extra mile to make clients happy
Always make sure that you do an excellent, quality job. Deliver your work on time and be present when a client needs you. Most importantly, do take that extra mile by building a positive connection between your clients and your team. Make them feel thankful that you are on board. Always keep in mind that your coworkers’ opinion of you is important as much as the person who hired you. Be of good service to your clients at all times. Be sure to make their lives easier. That way, you will have a genuinely happy client.
Making the decision to take on a freelance job and leaving your day job, may be one of the most challenging decisions you will make in your career. But with the right attitude, foresight and plan, you may end up very happy, satisfied and fulfilled financially and personally.