Last week, we saw freelancers get a special day of recognition as they were celebrated on social media with #FreelanceHeroesDay.
At The Workstation, we see the hard work and commitment of the freelance community every day in each of our business centres, which is why we wanted to get involved and share our own message of gratitude and support:
— The Workstation (@TheWorkstation_) May 16, 2017
Anyone who’s chosen this once unconventional way of working knows that the life of a freelancer is by no means easy – so initiatives like this are great for taking a moment out to acknowledge and congratulate the achievements of this ever-growing sector of the working community.
5 Character Traits You’ll Need to Succeed as a Freelancer
Although working for yourself can be immensely rewarding, it’s not for the faint-hearted, the work-shy or the unresolved. So, if you’re considering switching from the security of permanent employment, here’s a list of 5 character traits that you’ll need to have or work at if you want to go freelance.
Freelancing only works when you do. So you need to make sure that you’re strict about how much work you do, even if it’s not always the kind of work that brings in money but is valuable to the growth of your business and your future. Some people find it helpful to enforce a routine on themselves, just as they would have in normal employment. Other people find it useful to rent co-working space in a business centre to help recreate the office environment to inspire a strong work ethic and increase their productivity.
Good time management is another key characteristic of the freelancer – or at least it should be. Right off the bat, you’ll need to consider how long tasks (both paid and unpaid) are likely to take. Your clients will want to know how much your rate is, how long a task is likely to take and how much they can expect to pay for your time and services. It’s possible that you’ll get it wrong the first few times but it’s a learning process and soon enough you’ll settle into a rhythm and find it easier to quote for and manage your time.
Being organised is one thing, but you’ll also need to be flexible too. This means being open to the fact that you may need to work long and unsociable hours – even on weekends and bank holidays. When you’re first starting out and you’re not able to afford to delegate certain tasks, it’s possible that you’ll have to be flexible in your role too. If you’re more of a pragmatic worker, like an accountant, you might find yourself having to step outside your comfort zone with a bit of marketing to try and secure new clients. And vice-versa, if you’re a creative, you may find yourself having to try and find your way around a spreadsheet as the end of the tax year approaches.
Unless you’re incredibly lucky, it can take years to become established and comfortable as a freelancer in your profession. As you set out on your own, there are bound to be quiet times, busy times, frustrating times and exciting times but it’s important to keep a steely sense of determination to help get you through all of the above. Not only that but if you decide to become a freelancer, you need to be aware that there’s quite a bit of (sometimes boring) admin involved so if your heart’s not in it, maybe this way of working isn’t quite right for you.
In order to stay determined, you’ll need to truly believe in your abilities to succeed. You have to believe that what you’re selling (whether it’s your skills as an individual, a product or a service) is something that’s worth buying. Passion in your product and services, as well as a strong sense of self-belief, will be invaluable to you as you market and pitch yourself to clients and businesses – after all – if you don’t believe that you can get the job done, why should they?
For more advice on starting out on your own, check out some of our previous blogs: