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Making the Shift to Freelancing? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Freelance work has been growing in popularity. According to Statista, 59 million workers did some form of freelance work in 2020 in America, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. But just like anything, there are pros and cons to freelancing.

If you are considering whether to freelance or not, there are some important things you should know before diving in.

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  1. Work is unpredictable

Working as an employee means your paycheck is fairly reliable and predictable. When you freelance, traditional concepts like regular hours disappear because a lot of the freelance jobs are contractual. In other words, you could have a heavy work load some weeks, and no work during other weeks. This, in turn, makes your monthly earnings unstable and unpredictable.

One way to protect against this unpredictability is to not put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Spread your freelance work out and engage in different contracts or different types of work. This way, you will have multiple sources of income that can compensate for the other, should there be delays or cancellations.

  1. Lack of benefits

A full-time job comes with employee benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation leaves. These traditional benefits go out the window once you enter the world of freelancing.

If you’re worried about not having benefits while freelancing, don’t fret! Our previous piece suggested how gig workers can fill the benefits gap by doing things like contributing to a Roth IRA or a “solo” 401(k) as a retirement investment.

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Depending on how much money you make, you may be able to receive aid from the government through the ACA. With regards to paid vacations, you are the boss of your freelance business, which means technically you could take a vacation anytime you want, it just won’t be paid. The best way to guard against this is to have enough savings set aside for when you do want to take your well-deserved vacation.

You Might Also Like: How Can Gig Workers Fill the Benefits Gap?

  1. Reliance on technology

A recent study revealed that approximately 25% of all U.S. workers have participated in the gig economy. While this number is astounding, it is also somewhat of a natural development considering current innovations in technology. The gig economy is possible because of apps like Facebook, eBay, LetGo, and DoorDash, among others. One the biggest pros of doing freelance work is the personal freedom it provides, and these apps only help to increase that same freedom by providing a platform to access networks and clients.

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The gig economy is particularly popular among millennials, and they made up about 42% of the gig workforce in 2020. g Using apps while working, thus comes to them very easily. Whether the apps are used for tutoring grade school kids, delivering food, or selling products, they’re key technologies at the heart of the freelance economy.

  1. Self-marketing

As a freelancer, starting your own freelance business may not be as easy as it seems. You will naturally start slow and may only have a handful of projects during the first few months of your business.

Take advantage of this time to slowly build your portfolio that can showcase your best work and market your skills to other potential clients. Potential employers will want to see what kind of work you do and the quality of your work – and an online portfolio is a great way to do just that! You could showcase your work on a website like About.me, Contently, or WordPress.

Freelance work can be very rewarding, but just like anything, there are ups and downs. If these insights sound like something you’d like to give a try, go for it and enjoy being your own boss. Good luck!

The above article is aggregated content. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content.

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