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4 Tips For Entering The Freelance World

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Are you sick of the nine-to-five? Does the prospect of another routine day in the office fill you with dread? Do you constantly wish your weekdays away looking forward to the moment you close your laptop on Friday afternoon?

If this sounds like you, then it’s time to make a change. The way people work has changed dramatically over the past few years. There’s no reason why you still need to work a traditional office-based job. If the coronavirus pandemic taught us anything, it’s that people can be just as effective when they work from home. Many companies have now adopted a hybrid structure of working, allowing their employees to split their time between the office and their own houses. This allows for greater productivity, less environmental impact, cost-savings for all parties, and better mental health.

One great way to transform your working life is to become freelance. Rather than working on the payroll for a single company, you will instead hire your skills out to various different organizations. You will carry out your work assignment before moving onto the next job. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, as almost any career can be a freelance one. There are self-employed writers, accountants, mountain guides, designers, and IT technicians.

When you become freelance you will immediately realize the enormous benefits to your career, as well as your quality of life. You will no longer have to drudge through monotonous office work, as each day will be completely different. You will work in various locations, or from the comfort of your own home. You’ll be part of a new team with each job you accept, and you can choose to work as much or as little as you like. You will be able to enjoy an improved work-life balance and your mental wellbeing will be the best it’s ever been.

But how do you make the transition from employed to self-employed? To get you started on your career journey, here are four tips for entering the freelance world.

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/tips-for-entering-the-freelance-world/ by Alberto Thompson on 2022-08-17T09:25:14.007Z

Become self-employed

The first step is to officially register as self-employed. The exact steps for completing this task will depend on your country of origin, but it can usually be done relatively simply online. You will just need to fill in a few details about the nature of your business and register to file your own taxes. In the future, you may wish to expand your scope of work and file for ltd company formation, but at this stage you should just worry about getting some freelance experience under your belt.

Organize your finances

One of the most significant changes you’ll notice when going freelance is the need to file your own taxes. When you are on a company’s payroll, your income tax is automatically deducted from your monthly paycheck. The hard work is done for you and all you need to worry about is how to spend it. But as a freelancer, you receive payment from your clients with the added responsibility of paying the appropriate tax on it. You can deduct your essential business expenses to get some relief from your annual tax bill, but this makes the task of tracking your finances a lot more complicated.

You need to get into the habit of recording everything. It is possible to use an Excel spreadsheet if you know what you are doing, but it is easy to make mistakes if you’re not careful. Any errors could cost you more money or result in a hefty fine if spotted by the taxman. There are plenty of accounting software applications for freelancers that can make your life a lot easier. Another option is to hire an accountant to manage your taxes for you. Although this is a more expensive option, you will have peace of mind that your finances are being taken care of, and will have more free time to focus on your business.

Search for work opportunities

The way you find jobs will depend on the nature of your work and the specific industry in which you operate. Some freelancers use job boards to seek opportunities, while others might use Facebook groups. When you become more established in your field, you may also find work through word of mouth, as companies you have worked for pass on your details to their contacts. Try to get your name out there by meeting new people and growing your professional network. Attend relevant industry events and get to know the people you work with. You never know where the next opportunity might present itself.

Maintain discipline

Without the strict rules, deadlines, and dress codes of the office, it can be a challenge to maintain a suitable level of productivity. Working from home usually starts well but soon your personal and professional lives can blur into one. You end up waking up late, working in your pajamas and sitting on the sofa with your laptop on your knees and the TV on in the background. These are not ideal conditions for effective working, so you need to maintain some discipline if you are to make the most of your freelance life.

Begin by establishing a daily routine and sticking to it. Set a fixed time to start and end work each day, and make sure you prioritize your downtime in the evenings and at weekends. Dedicate a space in your home to serve as your office, whether it’s a spare room, a garage, or even just a corner of the dining table. Get dressed in the morning and act as though you are going into the office. This will help you get into the work mindset and be more productive.

These are just a few of the essential steps you’ll need to follow when going freelance for the first time. For the first year or two, you might not earn as much as your former income as you settle into your new work situation, but over time you will acquire new clients and carve out a niche. Good luck on your journey!

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About The Authors

Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson - I live in Vancouver, Canada, and work as a web developer and graphic designer. Back end programming (PHP, Django/Python, Ruby on Rails) to front end engineering (HTML, CSS, and jQuery/Javascript), digital usability, user interface, and graphic design are all areas of web development where I spend my days. I'm a huge fan of web creation and design in all of its forms, as well as assisting small businesses and artisans with their online presence.

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