We are a nation of freelancers. According to the latest government estimates, there are 5.9 million businesses in the UK private sector, of which 76% have just a single employee. That’s a little different from saying that 76% of workers are freelancers, but the fact remains that more of us than ever before are choosing to go it alone.
It’s easy to see why such a lifestyle might be attractive. You’ll get the freedom to choose your own hours and pursue your own objectives. And if you feel like you need to take a break, you can take one – provided, of course, that you have the funds to support yourself during your time off.
Let’s look at a few of the things you’ll want to think about before you finally pull the trigger and pursue your self-employed dream.
Will you be able to find work?
Securing work is critical if you’re going to succeed. Having clients in place before you quit your day-job will get you off to the best possible start. Put the word out on social media, and look at the popular recruitment sites. You might need to work for a reduced rate to begin with – until you’re able to prove your capability to would-be clients.
Can I Cope on My Own?
Many freelance occupations (and especially those that work via the internet) necessitate spending most of the day alone. For many of us, the social interaction that comes with a workplace is difficult to live without, and feelings of loneliness aren’t uncommon, especially in the first few weeks.
Do I have the right work ethic?
When you’re freelancing, you might find it difficult to persuade yourself to actually do the work. If there’s no boss peering over your shoulder, asking you how things are progressing, then it’s easy to let things spiral out of control. If you’re prone to procrastination, then that doesn’t mean you can’t go self-employed – it just means you’ll need to work on it.
Can I cope with work shortages?
When you’re freelancing, you’ll inevitably find that some weeks bring in more work than others. You bank balance needs to be healthy enough that you can soak up short-term shortages without worrying about how you’re going to keep the lights on. Ideally, you’ll need to be able to get through several months with no work at all – so be sure that there’s a healthy surplus to call upon. If you need to make a significant purchase on credit, like a car, then look specifically for self employed car finance.