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5 bitter truths about freelancing

August 18, 2014 13:43 IST

5 bitter truths about freelancing

Harnoor Channi-Tiwary

I have a dream job. Whenever I tell people that I write about food and travel, they look at me with stars in their eyes. Yes, I admit, it is a dream come true. But when I quit my corporate marketing career to pursue my passion for writing, I did not realise that freelancing would turn out to be far tougher than a full time position.

If you too believe that the grass is greener on the other side and that freelancers have it all, here are realities you should know before you cross the fence:

1. It is NOT easier

Hate your boss controlling your life? When you freelance, you work with multiple bosses and managing each is part of your work life.

Also, as you are not bound by HR policies of the company, a disagreement can lead to you losing the client far faster than a full time employee losing his job.

2. You need DISCIPLINE

Working from home and choosing your own schedule has its perks but it is no secret that one needs a great amount of self-discipline to do so.

There is no boss to make sure you deliver projects on time, no one to stop you if the TV looks inviting or you just want to curl up with a book.

You have to set time aside for your work and make sure you use it productively.

3. The ASSUMPTION that you are free

When you don't go to an office, people around you will assume that you have time on your hands and expect you to take care of far more chores than you may have time for.

It is your prerogative to guard your work time fanatically and only take on as many peripheral chores as your day allows. Not going to office does not translate into not having a busy day.

4. You have to SCOUT for each and every project you work on

Your corporate role ensures work keeps flowing your way but when you freelance, every single piece of work you do needs to be sold to a client.

Every single time.

5. There is no monthly ping in the BANK account

Some months may be good and some lean. But the surety of a certain amount of money coming into your bank goes away the day you quit your full time job. If you have periodic payments like EMIs or rent, this can be a challenge.

Freelancing is a great way to find your work-life balance. But it is not all roses as it is made out to be. Manage the challenges listed above and you may find yourself the alternative career you always wanted.

Image: Picture used here for representational purposes only
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters