Planning to be self-employed? 4 things to consider before you take the plunge
Self-employed gives you a lot of freedom and control but not everyone is cut out for it. Some people like the 9 to 5 lifestyle and manage to make the most of it. It takes a lot of hard work to make something of your own, on your own. It could be scary but it is also stimulating and could feel very rewarding. However, there are some things to keep in mind while considering a career in freelancing or planning to be self-employed.
You’re always online
While the notion of 9 to 5 is deteriorating anyway, you could still find space in for a breather when working at a corporate or even at regular desk jobs. Being a freelancer, however, has a lot to do with social connections and whether you know it or not, your network never sleeps. In addition to this, several social media and e-commerce platforms monitor your response time to queries and rank you accordingly. Depending on your personal goals and sector, you most certainly will need to give up weekend offs every now and again and be on alert 24×7 or you could miss out on great opportunities.
Take all your chances
While you may read this and go, “Duh! Isn’t that obvious?” it really isn’t. As described above, opportunities knock at all times without consideration of the clock. While you may have top-notch talent and have even gained experience, you may be required to step out of your introversion or extend beyond your comfort zone. Also, it may be against who you are as an individual to take money (loans) from anyone but sometimes, to cash in on opportunities, you may need to borrow money.
It’s all on You
Much like an entrepreneur, when you freelance it’s all on you. You are in absolute charge of your income and work and all things related. Even while you may be ‘hanging out’ with friends, you mind could be pondering that customer review. You never take feedback for granted and since you are your own brand everything you do seems to, directly or indirectly, influence your work. Your mind never wanders too far from work. Every break you take is a choice that you may have to re-consider and every buck you spend directly affects your job and your lifestyle.
Self-employment isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle
Your office environment and timing helps distinguishing between your job-time and the rest. As a self-employed person that line does not exist. Your baby becomes your responsibility – almost as a parent to a child – and while it may not take up 100% of time, it will (as mentioned earlier) never be too far away from your thoughts. What others call a job becomes your lifestyle and there will always be things that you ‘need to do’. Another important thing you must learn is that it is lonely at the top and it’s best to realise this early on so as to make peace with it soon.