Choosing a new freelance career is a big decision. Choosing any new career is a big decision, actually.
Working for yourself as a freelancer is quite a bit different from working for someone else, though. The advantages and disadvantages are not the same as those of a traditional job.
One big advantage of freelancing is that it gives you the opportunity to create a career that’s the perfect fit for you. If you want to do that, there’s a lot you need to take into consideration.
Currently, there are approximately 1.1 billion freelancers worldwide, making up about 35% of the global workforce. Are they all doing work that’s the perfect fit for them? Probably not. You can, though.
Here are seven questions to ask yourself before you start freelancing so you can create the best freelance career for you.
How to Choose the Best Freelance Career for You
What am I good at doing?
When considering a new freelance career, you definitely need to think about what you’re good at doing.
- your skills
- your talents
- what you learned how to do in school
Doing something you already know how to do can be a great way to start freelancing. You can get started quickly and easily and not have to spend any money on training.
You may want to do something else, though, other than what you already know how to do. That will definitely work because there are hundreds of different jobs you can do to earn money as a freelancer.
First, you’ll need to learn how to do whatever type of work you find yourself interested in. Fortunately, there are many online courses you can take to learn how to do virtually any kind of freelance job.
Freelancing gives you a reason to learn a new skill, and you can add that skill to the list of things you’re good at doing.
What do other people tell me I’m good at?
How we see ourselves can be a lot different than how other people see us.
You know what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at doing. Maybe someone close to you sees it differently, though. They may have noticed that you’re good at something you just take for granted.
If someone ever tells you “Hey, you’re really good at that,” listen. You might have a skill you’d never really noticed. Maybe you’ve got something you can start making money with.
You can probably think of at least a couple of things you’re good at doing. Consider what others may have said you’re good at too in choosing your new freelance career.
What do I enjoy doing?
Everyone would like to enjoy the work they do, but unfortunately many people do not.
Lots of people work just to make ends meet, to support themselves and their families. They may take a job, any job, because they need money. They begin earning enough money to pay the bills and live their lives. They become comfortable. The next thing you know, several years have gone by and they’ve spent it all working at a job they don’t like.
Maybe this is you now, but it doesn’t have to be you always.
You can and should enjoy your work. That shouldn’t be just a vague dream but a goal.
Think about what you enjoy, what you really love doing, and try to find a way to earn money doing it. Lots of people earn a living doing what they love, and you can too.
What is meaningful to me?
You may have always worked in a job that you found meaningless and boring. Or maybe you’re a recent graduate just stepping into the working world for the first time and you’re wanting to do something that you feel is important.
What we view as meaningful varies from person to person. What one person thinks is very important another person may not think is important at all.
Everything has meaning. Everything is important. But what is meaningful and important to you personally?
Only you know the answer to that question.
Doing work that we find meaningful doesn’t have to only be a dream. You can make it a reality. This is your opportunity.
What problem can I solve?
While you need to put yourself first when deciding what freelance career is right for you, you need to think about your future clients too.
Freelancers perform specific tasks or services that will help their clients solve a problem or achieve a certain goal. Those clients hire a freelancer who can do something that they themselves don’t know how to do, don’t know how to do well enough or don’t have time to do.
So you need to consider what you would like to do that other people will need you to do. You’ll want to choose a type of work you’ll be able to do well and for which there’s enough demand.
Think about what you’d like to help clients with to solve the problem of not being able to perform a service or task themselves. What can you do for them with your existing skills, or what would you like to learn how to do for them?
What can I earn enough money doing?
You could definitely say that the most important factor to consider when choosing a career is what the income potential is.
There is no one simple answer to this question. Every type of freelance work is unique with different income potentials. You’ll need to do some research to find out the answer to this question.
Do some online research to see what other freelancers who do that type of work earn. Maybe you know someone who freelances in the line of work you’re interested in. If you know them well enough to appropriately ask them how much money they make, ask them.
Keep in mind that unlike a corporate career, you’re not guaranteed to earn a certain amount. What you earn as a freelancer will depend on:
- how much you charge
- how much clients are willing to pay
- the market rate for that type of work
- how much work you get
- your ability to collect payment
As you build your experience, you’ll be able to raise your rates and earn more.
What do I really want to do?
This may be the most important question you can ask yourself when you’re in the process of choosing a freelance career.
It’s very important to have a career that you enjoy, that you’re good at and that provides enough money for you. But before you launch your freelance blog to get clients, before you spend any money to start down that career path, ask yourself: Is this what I really want to do?
If the answer is no, then give it some more thought.
Now that you’re making this change in your life, it’s the perfect time to start doing what you really want to do. Starting to freelance is the perfect opportunity to pursue your dream.
What do you really want to do? The answer is up to you and only you.
There is no one-size-fits-all way to freelance. The type of work you choose should be the right fit for you. Ask yourself these seven questions to set yourself on the right path to the freelance career that’s best for you. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments.
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