Working as a freelancer is a dream come true for many. Above all, it offers complete independence: you determine your own working time, decide how many orders you will complete a day, you can also take a day off and go on vacation whenever you feel like it. The second issue is the prospect of earnings – these are usually much higher than when working full-time. However, working as a freelancer is not all roses and it is not only its beginnings that are difficult. Even someone with an established position in the market faces many difficulties in their career. What does freelance work involve? Find out about the advantages and disadvantages of working on your own!
Full-time work vs. freelancing – what is more profitable?
The answer to this question could be: “it depends” – mainly on what is most important to you at work. Working full-time gives you financial stability and a sense of security. Freelancing allows you to enjoy complete freedom: you can work wherever and whenever you want to and you earn much more.
Who is a full-time job for?
If your priority list includes stable earnings and bonuses, continuous contact with people and promotion opportunities, a full-time job should satisfy you. However, full-time employees most often complain that their work lacks variety and a certain degree of freedom: they frequently perform the same duties every day, work at specific hours, and there is often a problem with holidays on a suitable date. Additionally, regardless of how much they work, they usually earn the same (unless the company has performance bonuses). Losing your job may also be associated with some financial trouble until you find your next employer.
Who is a freelancer?
A freelancer is a person working in a task-oriented mode, completing the accepted orders. Freelancing is purely self-employed work. It allows a lot, but there are also some difficulties associated with it. Remote work was not very popular a few years ago and few heard about it. And those who did it were treated… less seriously. Many wondered how working in the comfort of your home can be effective and treated with the same respect as performing your duties at an office.
Freelancer – a modern employee for hire
Today, however, working as a freelancer is synonymous with modernity, freedom and the desire to pursue self-development. A freelancer sources clients, sets the deadline for completing a given project and he/she can also take a day off and no one will complain about it. Another very important issue is that working as a freelancer (in many industries, especially as a translator) allows you to perform your duties from anywhere in the world. In addition, a freelancer has a real impact on the amount of his/her earnings. If extra cash is needed, it is possible to take on an additional assignment at any time. Sounds like a perfect plan? Unfortunately, it is not always so simple.
Is a freelancer’s work always stress-free?
The biggest challenge in the work of a freelancer is the lack of the sense of stability. The more effort you make the more you will earn. You have to source clients on your own and stand out among competition. It is also not easy to define how much you will earn in a given month as it all depends on the number of projects you acquire. The beginning is very difficult: you enter the market as someone completely unknown and you have to face those, who already have years of experience and their own clients.
Therefore, it is very important to prepare a strategy beforehand first covering your entry onto the market and then for staying on it. After some time, when your work is appreciated, clients will start recommending you among themselves, and your brand will not be as anonymous as it was at the beginning. At the start, however, you will probably have a lot of work, disappointments and moments of hesitation as to whether you really want to continue this path
A marketing strategy is essential for a freelancer translator!
You have made the decision that you will try to work on your own account. First of all, you think about launching your business card on the Internet as soon as possible. From here it should be easy to make numerous projects come to you, right? The reality, however, is far from being imagined.
Does a freelancer need a website?
It is true that an online business card is almost mandatory today. Without Internet presence, your clients will not find you. However, even a professional website will not make your inbox explode with messages from interested clients, and the phone will ring non-stop. Everything will take time and will be achieved gradually.
Website for a freelancer
First, a simple but neat business card will be more than enough. The most important thing is its content, i.e. a description of your education, skills, experience and portfolio. If you can show off your completed projects that were successful, it will be a bit easier. For many clients it is more important how you work than how many jobs and years of work you have included in your CV.
However, if you have an empty portfolio, you have to take into account that acquiring the first projects will be more difficult and probably not very profitable. You will be working for a “portfolio entry” or symbolic rates. Unfortunately, this is a stage that you won’t be able to skip; however, it is worth mobilising yourself to have a full portfolio as soon as possible and also to raise the rates and increase the number of jobs.
How to find work for a freelancer and where to start?
You already have a business card on the web (e.g. a website, Facebook profile, Instagram, LinkedIn or other social media accounts) but there is still no project in sight? The methods of sourcing clients are a problem for nearly all starting freelancers. Social media provide huge possibilities in this regard. Facebook offers numerous groups with ads including those for translators. Post an ad presenting your skills and advantages, respond to posts of clients looking for a translator. It may not work at first several times but don’t give up. You will finally find your first job and it will be easier from this point on.
Also, keep in mind that the best showcase is the quality of your services. Therefore, enter the market prepared: do additional courses and training, as certificates and diplomas are always welcome. Create a professional environment around you and do your work as a professional should. A satisfied client will recommend you to others and this way you will build a stable network of contacts.
Work for a freelance translator
A good way to find a job as a freelancer in the translation industry is also browsing through the advertisements of translation agencies. Work for a freelance translator offered by a company with an established position on the market gives a greater sense of stability than individual projects. Such a position in the portfolio (especially if it is a long-term cooperation) increases your credibility. Cooperation with a translation agency combines the advantages of full-time work and freelancing: you gain some stability, while maintaining a significant amount of freedom in performing your duties.
The key thing is not to give up at first when it seems that freelancing is not working out for you!