So you decided to become a freelance translator?
What an excellent choice.
But, translating aside, do you know what the life of a freelancer entails? It is more than showing your middle finger to corporate life and flashing your laptop in Café Hipster.
Freelancing, if you want to make it work, needs structure and discipline, just like the corporate counterpart.
Before I went freelance, I didn’t have a clue of what I am diving into – a bit naive, I know. I was just so enthralled by the syllable “free”.
Knowing that I didn’t want to go back to a 9 to 5 job, and certainly not to those pesky night shifts, I wanted to work on my terms. How about taking a day off whenever I like? I wanted instant quality time, without giving x-amount of notice and sacrificing a slice of my small holiday entitlement.
But as with any job, freelancing has its ups and downs, and it is not always the life you dream of during your commutes home after a long day at work. Just like your employed job, you can get bored of the same routine, lack motivation or get disheartened by client problems. And before you know it, you can be inundated with admin or struggle to manage deadlines.
Why do you want to become a freelancer?
People decide to freelance for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you intend to spend more time with your family, travel the world or merely avoid the pressure of corporate life.
You need to be able to refuse certain clients
As a freelancer, you need to be strict with yourself and others about how you want to work, and where you put the boundaries.
Decide from the outset if you’re going to work with a specific type of customer, or in a specific industry, don’t sub-come to the first sign of a well-payed assignment in another area. This is easier said than done, but remember that you will choose this lifestyle for a reason.
There will be slow spells
You need to be able to deal with lulls in your work and learn not to panic. Ups and downs are part of the freelance parcel. Learn how to use downtime to your advantage and stay confident that work will be flowing again.
Get some help
Freelance work comes with its fair share of admin, from accounting to calculating your taxes, working through emails and keeping on top of your diary. Additionally, you still have your no-work life to deal with, not to mention the laundry. There is a danger that you end up with precious little time for yourself. So, for your sanity and your success, consider outsourcing, whether that’s finding some great freelance Apps, a cleaner or grocery delivery services.
Let the adventure begin
Once you have your first assignment go for a change in scenery – freelancing will permit you to work from anywhere you like. And even if a long trip is bit ambitious, why not check out a cool Wi-Fi cafe or co-working spaces.
Go against the flow
When you’re working office hours, you’re continually moving with the crowd. With a freelancing lifestyle, you will be more flexible. So take advantage of it by planning to do things when everybody else is at work. It will save you cash while reducing your stress at the same time.
To be Free