Do you dream of a life without the nine to five, no office hierarchy or worries about chasing promotion? Do you often feel like there must be a better way to maximise (and monetise) your hard-earned skills, without sacrificing your life at the same time? If so, then freelancing could be the answer.
The world of work is changing and rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’ means there’s never been a better time to go it alone. More and more skilled professionals are opting for new type of career, choosing freedom, flexibility and fulfilment over climbing the corporate ladder or a ‘job for life.’
Here’s 10 reasons why now’s a good time to take the plunge:
1. Demand is on the up:
Freelance workers now make up six per cent of the UK workforce, a 36 per cent rise since 2008. The booming start-up and small business sector means there’s a growing need for flexible, cost-effective skills across a range of disciplines and larger companies are also cottoning on to the potential of agile and flexible talent. With some predicting around half of us will be working this way by 2020, the future looks bright.
2. Technology has made it easier than ever:
In many ways, the freelance revolution has been fuelled by technology, making finding and managing clients much easier than in the past. Online freelance platforms mean you can set up a profile and source projects easily, while also having a ready-made network for support. There’s also loads of free online tools, such as Google Docs and Slack, to help you stay on top of your workload.
3. Co-working is the place to be:
Freelancing invariably used to mean working from home, isolated from the world – nobody to bounce ideas off or chat to when you got bored. But co-working has changed everything. There are now hundreds of stylish, open-plan, inspiring spaces across the country, with access to Wi-Fi, meeting space and like-minded professionals. Most are really flexible and affordable too, so perfect when you’re getting started.
4. It’s family friendly:
The workplace is becoming more flexible for parents but there are still plenty of women (and men) who struggle to balance a career with their home life. With freelancing you can choose your hours and how much you work, which makes juggling your responsibilities that bit easier. In fact, one in seven freelancers are now working mums, an incredible 70 per cent rise since 2008. So if kids are on the cards in the near future, freelancing could be a serious option.
5. The freedom to travel:
What used to be a far-fetched dream is increasingly becoming a reality, with more and more freelancers turning ‘digital nomad’ so they can combine their career with travelling the world. With the right tools and technology, remote working is easy – all you need is a laptop and a decent Wi-Fi connection and you’re away!
6. Be your own boss:
If your current job isn’t going the way you’d like, or you’re not getting the opportunities you deserve, why not take control of your own career. Freelancing gives the you the scope to seek out your own projects in areas you’re genuinely interested in, rather than waiting to be noticed by those above you. If you’re a self-starter and tenacious, you’ll land some great clients in no time.
7. Breadth of opportunities
While some areas are well-known for freelance workers – media, design and IT, for example – there’s growing demand in a whole range of sectors. Research shows the independent workforce now spans education, health, science, arts and entertainment – plus everything in between. So there could be more opportunities in your area than you think.
8. Time to pursue other passions:
With freelancing, you choose your schedule and how much you want to take on, leaving you time to pursue other interests and passions in your life. Whether you want to fund your studies, supplement a part-time career, or have more time for a hobby, with freelancing you can work around it.
By: Alice Weightman
Alice Weightman is Founder and CEO of The Work Crowd, an online platform that connects quality freelancers with exciting projects in PR and marketing.