Freelancing for a Living
Things to Consider Before Becoming a Freelancer
Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures
Before embarking on any kind of venture, it helps to be clear on what that venture entails and to plan for that venture. Quite often, people make a decision to become a freelancer and work at home, but are not certain about what kind of work they will do, or even whether they are suited for a telecommuting life. What factors should people consider before freelancing?
Every year, many people are taking the leap into work-at-home freelance jobs. The following are ideas and suggestions to consider even before looking considering freelancing.
Learn how to investigate a company
It is important to research companies which offer freelance jobs. However, browsing the company's website is not enough. You will not know from their site if the work for contractors is very inconsistent, or if this is the fifth attempt to start the company, or if they if they do not pay their workers on time. Look up the company from other sources, such as Rip Off Reports.com, Better Business Bureau, google.com, or even job boards that are concerned with the kind of business you are interested in. It will save much time and energy to know the common characteristics of scams so that you can avoid them altogether.
Understand what the realistic freelance earnings are for each profession
Don't be surprised by the huge income disparities between earnings for regular office work and earnings for telecommuting. In many cases, freelancers earn less than their office counterparts. Companies that rely on home workers are aware that you won't have the usual work expenses and telecommuting costs. Working from home is NOT a get rich quick scheme.
Get resume assistance if necessary
Even if you think you have an excellent resume, look at the resumes of others and compare. Most likely, you could use a resume expert to write a professional one for you. Your resume will either open or close the door for you to make a telecommuting proposal.
Make sure you have an up-to-date home office
Up-to-date does not necessarily mean expensive. It means having a computer with the latest operating system, a printer, a fax machine and high speed internet access. These things were luxuries in the past, but now they are basics. An up-to-date home office also means having a dedicated workspace which is separate from the rest of the home.
Be aware of the realities of a telecommuting life
Some of the most common are constant interruption by non-work-related phone calls and children, and home distractions such as the lawn or laundry. For some telecommuters, they have to continually remind their friends and family that just because they are at home, it does not mean they are always available. In addition, the life of a telecommuter can be an independent and lonely one compared to working in a company office. There are no people around to discuss-work related issues or bounce ideas off of.
Companies hire freelancers to save overheads
Part of cutting costs is hiring independent contractors as opposed to hiring employees. This removes the need to pay taxes related to employment such as unemployment and workers' compensation. This implies that your taxes will be your responsibility. You can consult your government tax office about your obligations as an independent contractor.
Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.
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