Scrub The ‘Dirty’ Label Off Freelance's Image4 min read
We all remember that moment. The moment when we decided to become freelancers and the very moment after that, when mass panic ensued. Not only were we anxious about making a change, our loved ones were nervous too. For some, they hold onto the antiquated belief that freelance is a risky, unstable business; an “in-between jobs” type of move, rather than a viable career. But in reality, the fear of freelance is coming from years of negativity surrounding this path, rather than facts.
Freelance has been given “dirty” label” and it’s time for that label to be washed away.
Freelancers are Their Own Manager
When you become a freelancer, you work for you. Sure, you have clients and have to respect the boundaries of the contracts you instate but you’re running your own business. You manage yourself. Here’s an excerpt from Victor Lipman’s Forbes article, “People Leave Managers, Not Companies”:
“Here’s something they’ll probably never teach you in business school,” wrote Gallup CEO Jim Clifton in the summary accompanying his organization’s 2013 “State of the American Workplace” employee engagement study. “The single biggest decision you make in your job—bigger than all the rest—is who you name manager.”
Managers can make or break your productivity, your quality of life, and your career path. Lucky for you, you already made the biggest decision in your job and named yourself the manager. You’ve already made the smartest move you can make.
Independence Cannot Be Understated
We celebrate this country’s independence every year on July 4th with hot dogs and fireworks. With red, white, and blue, it has been engrained in us that freedom is essential to the American dream. Yet, the majority of the American workforce works at least eight hours a day on a rigid schedule they do not choose. Accordingly to Contently‘s “State of Freelancing 2016” study, 60% of people became freelancers for independence because having control of your own life cannot be understated. As freelancers, we are celebrating our July 4th’s every day. It’s just that instead of hot dogs and fireworks, we have laptops and packed calendars.
Block Facebook? Are Ya Kidding?
For old fashioned companies, social media is a productivity zapper rather than a friend. Not only that, many companies have yet to still grasp or wield the powerful tool that is social media. It is our job as freelancers to keep up with the technological shift that reinvents itself over and over. Most of us rely on this tool to further our business, attract new clients, and network. We are going along with the tide and Freelance is only better for it. Accordingly to the same study by Contently, 65% of freelancers said they have social media profiles they regularly use for their work. Block Twitter? No thank you. Check my #insta to see what I posted on #facebook about that nonsense 🙂
Reward Yourself. You Leaped to Freelance.
This inspirational speech highlighted on Tech Insider from Steve Harvey made me think of freelance life right away. The crux of Harvey’s speech is about how every successful person has “jumped”, every successful person has made the big leap. As freelancers, we have made a choice that can lead to some unstable times but we, unlike most, have jumped. We have taken what could be seen as a risk to better ourselves. Freelancers, even when it’s tough, and we tumble down the cliff, and the parachute doesn’t open right away, need to remind ourselves every day that we did it. We jumped. And that’s the hardest and most important part.
You’re Ahead of the Curve!
Everyone might be afraid of change, but looks like the freelance economy is on the rise. According to this article by Fast Company, the Intuit Report “estimates that more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers—freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees” by 2020. Freelance won’t be such dirty term if 40% of the workforce is doing it. And lucky you! You’ve already put roots down in this new economy and will be ahead of the curve. It’s never a bad thing to be the one who knows it all.
This proves that the tide is turning and we are ahead of the game. Seems like perfect time for us all take out that sponge and scrub the “dirty” label off freelance because we are just where we need to be.