I’m in my sixth week of freelancing now and I feel like I’m off to a good start. (If you missed my career shift, see Why I Freelance Now for more details.) Here is a brief update.
What I’m doing: I am a freelance Web Producer and Technical Writer. As such, I advise on web strategy, collaborate on content, and manage development projects. I’m also creating technical documentation, including functional requirements specifications and user guides, for IT infrastructure and web projects.
Where I found clients: Networking. Most of the work I’m doing is with people I already knew and, in many cases, worked with in previous full-time jobs. It’s true what they say: Don’t burn your bridges- you never know when you may meet up again.
What I like most: The projects (I pick them!) and flexibility. Sure, there are deadlines. I can’t slack by any means. However, if I’m having trouble wrapping my thoughts around the task at hand, I can walk away, then return with a fresh perspective. I’m able to shift my schedule as needed (within reason). On the days I work from home, I sometimes work shorter hours during the day and pick up later in the evening.
What I like least: Travel time. I have clients in multiple states that I must visit face-to-face regularly. This is balanced out by my ability to work from home on other days. Tied for least: HR stuff. I’m still looking for a good accountant and health insurance. COBRA isn’t cheap.
Biggest reward: Realizing I can do this. It was scary to go from a full-time job to freelance. After all, I’m in charge now, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.
My advice to others: If you want to make the switch to freelancing, plan ahead. Research the legalities. Talk to lots of people. You may find great advice, recommendations, and possibly even work where you least expect it.
Am I happy: Yes! I love what I’m doing and I’m meeting great people.