From Fast Company, Zahra Barnes provides 15 questions that you should ask yourself before embarking on a career as as a full-time freelancer. They are all helpful but I’ve only shared the first six below:
1. DO YOU HAVE SIX MONTHS’ TO A YEAR’S WORTH OF LIVING EXPENSES SAVED UP?
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t actually have to answer yes to this before becoming a freelancer. It’s not like I would have when I set out on my own a year ago. As an early-20s magazine assistant with a penchant for Seamless-ing tacos and a long-distance boyfriend to visit, my savings were laughable. Would it have been smart of me to build a financial buffer before I took that leap? Absolutely, and I’d recommend it to anyone considering freelancing. But I scored a few steady gigs, which saved me from financial worries (until tax time came about, which I’ll get to later).
2. DO YOU HAVE A SOLID, PROFESSIONAL NETWORK?
Without a doubt, I wouldn’t have been able to land on my feet in freelancing without the people I met in college, during my internship at Glamour, my job at SELF magazine, and a few informational interviews along the way. Almost every freelance job I’ve gotten has been via someone I know in that capacity, or someone they know and have connected me with.
3. CAN YOU ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF?
Do you know how cringeworthy it can feel to follow up, yet again, on an invoice you submitted three months ago? It’s like a group of miniature elves are using your insides as a bounce house—pure, stomach-churning discomfort. You’ll still have to do it confidently, with poise, and without burning bridges.
4. ARE YOU AN INTROVERT?
As in, does being alone for most of the day bring you inner peace, or does the thought make your soul crumple up into a horrified, neglected ball? Either way, you can still make it work. I’m a huge introvert, so I find working alone all day soothing. If you’re an extrovert, coworking spaces are cropping up everywhere so you can still have human interaction while getting it all done.
5. HOW WILL YOU GET YOUR OFFICE GOSSIP?
I don’t mean the mean-spirited type, more the buzzings of the day’s happenings or industry news. Every time I hear about something big in the magazine world, I imagine what it would be like to be back at the SELF office, talking about it with colleagues. I still Gchat about it all with the ex-coworkers I’d be talking to in person, but it’s not the same.
6. ARE YOU PREPARED TO DEAL WITH SKEPTICISM?
Some people will think you goof off all day, and others will ask when you’re going to get a “real job.” If you’re able to brush them off and continue doing what you love, your life as a freelancer will be that much easier….
Read the rest of the story at Ask Yourself These 15 Questions Before Becoming A Full-Time Freelancer