Freelance work gives you control over your schedule as well as your income. You can typically set your own rates, hours, and even clients. It is essentially being a business unto oneself and done right it can be an excellent career choice for many. It is, however, difficult to get started. Just as any new business has an uncertain period where they need to find customers, you will also have a rocky start while you try to find clients or short-term employment. With this guide, however, you’ll have a few tricks of the trade that will help you successfully transition into freelance work.
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Types of Freelance Work
There are several different kinds of freelance work. You can work independently as a business professional and offer a specific service, for example. Alternatively, you could also work on a contract-by-contract basis. All industries need freelancers, even established ones like healthcare. For example in the healthcare industry, there are pharmacist locums that pick up shifts and fill their own dockets. Done right they consistently choose shifts that pay the best and even negotiate higher rates the more established they become.
How to Transition into Freelancing
Transitioning into freelancing will require a few key steps to be taken.
Know the Rules for Your Profession
Every profession has different rules, regulations, and expectations. Working as a locum doctor or pharmacist will require a different approach than working as a freelance graphic designer. Understand the environment, including what to expect in terms of rates, turnover time (if applicable), and more. Improving your ability to negotiate your wage is another great tip that you can take on during this step.
Find the Right Management Tool
When you work as a freelancer you take on more hats than salaried employees ever will. One of those hats is management. To avoid putting on an entirely another job onto your shoulders you will need the right management tool. Depending on your field the system you use may be where you handle everything, from booking jobs and negotiating the wage, to even managing your calendar and sending invoices.
Use Every Opportunity as a Business Opportunity
Every time you work for a new employer try to do your best. Repeat business is a goldmine in freelancing, especially if there is a chance that you can get more leads and more work in the future from your previous clients or employers. In healthcare, for example, GPs, pharmacies, hospitals, and more have a list of preferred locum professionals that will get the jobs first. By doing your best you can become that preferred locum professional and continue to get high-paying shifts.
Set Up Your Own Benefits
One of the biggest downsides to working freelance is that you do not have the same benefits. You do not get a pension and you do not get vacation days. Instead, it is up to you to set these systems up for yourself. Go to a banker or other professional to set up a pension scheme for yourself today. As for other benefits like vacation days know you will simply have to take time off work on a semi-regular basis to maintain a healthy work/life balance.