When the first lockdown was announced, the country was thrown into chaos as office workers had to get used to working from home, there was one group of people for whom there was no huge shift. Freelancers, as they were happy to tell us, had been there, done that and worn the t-shirt (along with pyjama bottoms, in meetings). But what impact has the pandemic actually had on freelancers in general?
Initially, there was a slump as businesses cut costs or even had to temporarily close, while self-employed workers had plenty of complications accessing government support. However, since then, the way these businesses have worked has meant that there’s been a surge in work for freelancers.
Remote working and hybrid working are the new normal as are the kind of flexible lifestyles and working patterns that are a key part of the freelance world, and as businesses have become more comfortable with them, the appeal of having access to freelance talent has been obvious. So there’s never been a better time to dip your toes into freelancing and here’s why you should give it a try.
What’s so Great About Freelancing Anyway?
Well, we could talk about the freedom to plan your working week the way you want, to run your business the way you want, to choose your hourly rate, decide where and when you want to work, and those are just a few of the benefits of freelancing.
But why have people chosen to freelance? According to a survey, 70% of people did it to try and achieve a healthier work-life balance while 62% said it was the flexibility to schedule when they work that was the deciding factor. Freedom was an important reason for 56%, with 55% wanting to choose where they worked and 49% wanting to be their own boss.
Meanwhile, a study by IPSE, (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), has revealed that confidence amongst freelancers is currently higher than it has ever been since the IPSE confidence index was started.
But do you need to become a freelancer now when so many of us are getting to continue enjoying the benefits of remote working? Why give up the comparative security of a regular wage when you’re already getting to work from home a few days a week? Freelancing isn’t the right option for everyone, but if it works for you, it really does offer remote working at its best.
When working from home in a regular job, you’re still likely to be working to the standard hours your employer demands, to attend near-constant meetings over Teams and to be at the beck and call of your boss, even if you’re trying to pretend you’re not working in the garden. As a freelancer, you’re unlikely to have to deal with ANY of this nonsense.
Another factor that makes freelancing all the more appealing is that many of us are already dipping one toe into that world through building up a side hustle. In a time of a cost of living crisis, picking up these extra bits of work alongside a full-time job can be a real stepping point towards taking the leap into being a freelancer.
So if you’re tempted to join in the rise of the post pandemic freelancer, you’ll need to look into how to become a freelancer in the first place as well as key admin tasks like how to register as self-employed
But how can you make sure that you thrive in this post pandemic freelance world? It’s important to find your niche and focus on your strengths, though it’s up to you whether you choose to specialise in this niche or to continue to generalise.
Next, you need to know how to market your services, highlighting your skills and experience as well as working hard to network and get your name out there, whether it’s online or at in-person events.
These are exciting times for freelancers as the working world continues to shift around us. It’s the ideal time to make your move into freelancing, taking the lessons and experiences of lockdown to create the working life you want and finding the freedom that this kind of work has to offer.
If you want to know more about the world of the post pandemic freelancer or find out how we can help you make this switch a success, get in touch today!