About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

The internet has helped launch alternative work solutions to try to have a healthy work-life balance. Freelance work can be done while working the 9-5 or build a full-time business around your skills and experience.

Freelancing is all part of the future of remote work. If you’re interested in freelancing, here’s what you need to know.

What is Freelance Work? Freelancing Job Meaning
What is Freelance Work?

A freelance job is one that a person does for themselves instead of being employed by the company and can involve client work for organizations.

A freelancer is essentially self-employed and works from all over the employment sector. This includes many companies, organizations, non-profits, and even government agencies, often hiring freelancers.

Due to the broad scope of freelancing options, there’s work in every career field, which can vary from one-off jobs to long-term projects.

Work can also be offered directly to clients, focus on general areas like those listed above, or dialed into industries requiring niche skill sets.

How is Freelance Work Different?

Freelancing is different from traditional employment in several ways. First, a freelancer is responsible for setting and maintaining work hours independent of management oversight. This means you will be the gatekeeper regarding time spent on projects, billing, and paying taxes.

A freelancer worker is not an employee for any organization for whom s/he works but rather a contractor. Income for work varies greatly depending on the industry, skills, and experience.

In broad strokes, skills that require more education generally pay more than skills that don’t need as much. Using skills you already have can be a fast and affordable way to begin making the shift from traditional employment.

You can pick your clients and set your working hours. As an independent contractor, you have a say in how the work is completed, that is, how you approach a specific project, which gives you a lot of creative license.

The freelancer market continues growing due to high demand across many industries.

That’s not to say the market isn’t competitive because it’s probably more competitive than the traditional employment sector. But, the need for reliable freelancers will continue to grow as employers see the benefits.

Cons of Freelance Work

Freelancing isn’t for everyone. Those who like a lot of handholding along the way during project completion might feel alienated as a freelancer.

If you work best as part of a team, you might struggle because you spend a lot of time working alone.

Work as a freelancer isn’t always consistent, and that’s a fundamental difference from traditional employment. Finding clients with larger projects or ongoing work is a way to counteract this, but it’s slow to start. Getting enough clients to pay the bills can be a challenge too.

It takes a long time to build a base and even longer to find those clients who can offer consistent work. Careful money management and constantly seeking additional opportunities are keys to being successful.

Getting started with freelancing can be as easy as checking out a job search board and applying for open projects.

Being clear on your services and knowing your target market can help you sidestep some early challenges and place you one step closer to ditching your traditional employment job.

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