Saturday, August 17, 2013

From Moonlighting to Full-Time Freelancer

So, you want to be a freelancer but you are afraid to make a big leap out from the corporate world. You are afraid to lose your fixed monthly income and your benefits. And you are afraid that the freelance career would not be able to sustain your expenses.

It is alright to entertain those fear. Of course, making a decision that can create huge impact in our finances need to be weighed thoroughly. You need to put things into perspective before jumping into freelancing.

Some freelancers never made it to their second year. In my earlier post on Read the Mind of an Independent Contractor, I've mentioned that new freelancers are most likely to accept traditional employment. Among the reasons I've heard why these people leave their freelance jobs are:

  • Fear - Fear of not being able to find a new project or client.
  • Boredom - Getting bored of working alone most of the time.
  • Inability to pay their bills.
  • Inability to fight off distractions at home.
Hearing these reasons may lead you to think that freelance job may not work for you too. It may or it may not. It all depends upon your attitude. So, one way to find out is to test the waters. You don't have to leave your corporate or day job. Hold on to it and get a freelance job on the side. Moonlighting is a great way to start freelance career especially if you are still unfamiliar with this kind of business. Learn from experience. Find out if freelance work is a viable option for you.

In the corporate world, responsibilities and functions are laid out for us. We work in accordance to what is expected by the company When it comes to freelance work, you are on your own. You don't have a boss, no coworkers (except for your virtual team, if there is), and you are in charge of your personal or career development. You are even in charge of your salary (you name your own price).

According to  A good rule of thumb is not to give up your day job until you have between six months and one year's worth of savings, more if you're the sole support for your household.

Sometimes, it takes 6 months to one year to establish your client base and build your reputation. Taken from personal experience, my first year was rough. Once you gain your momentum and confidence, you can leave your day job and be a full-time freelancer.

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