Sunday, July 1, 2007

Freelance Employment: Is it for you?

More people are finding freelance employment outside of their regular day jobs. They leave the security of their regular employment to move on to the challenges of freelance employment. Freelancing has become a career choice for many people who enjoy the benefits that it offers. Freelancers often attribute their interest to freelance employment to the following factors:

• Wider range of job opportunities;
• Fast turnaround of projects;
• More freedom to choose projects of choice;
• More flexibility to work on different jobs on a simultaneous basis; and
• High income rates

Do you have what it takes to freelance? Before you take the plunge and begin the journey of working at home, read through the following steps.

1. Determine the amount of money you’ll need to earn to sustain your expenses. If you have a day job now, you will save a lot of money once you make your shift to freelance employment. If you begin to work at home, you will save a lot of money from commuting, food, taxes, and more.

2. Take a self-assessment test. List all of your skills and experiences. Include your hobbies and interests; doing this will determine what types of freelance jobs you can handle. Do you keep a personal website? Then perhaps you can freelance as a website designer? Do you keep a personal blog? Maybe you can freelance as a writer or blogger? If you know how to conduct searches on the Internet, you can write about any topic that may be given to you.

3. Visit websites offering freelance jobs and see what jobs are currently offered. Take notes and keep a list of these jobs. You should also be on the lookout for companies and organizations which use freelancers for their projects. Look at how much they pay freelancers and pay attention to the different rates for different projects. Keep a list of these important details as they will surely help you in estimating how much you should charge for a project.

4. Try to estimate the costs of a project if the client were to award it to you. Keep in mind the number of hours or days it might take you to complete. What would you need to charge for an hourly rate? When you have done this, you will be able to determine how much you could potentially earn.

5. After doing all of the above, you can start applying for freelance jobs. These jobs will help you earn some amount that you can later use after quitting your day job.

6. Once you have confirmed that the projects have been awarded to you, use a table to plot specific data about them. Write down all the information about these projects such as contact persons and their contact details and number of days to complete the projects.

7. As you begin freelance work, you will start to feel the flow of freelance employment. Bear in mind that you will not get all the projects that you want, so apply for different jobs. Be cautious when taking on several jobs. Don’t take on more jobs than you can handle.

8. Always track your freelance jobs and how often clients pay you. When you have developed an effective system of securing freelance work (and getting paid for your time), then you might feel you are ready to quit your day job.