Wondering What is meaning of freelancing? Freelancing can be a good way to go if you want to be your own boss, try out a new career, or have a side job that lets you work on your passion project. And you wouldn’t be the only one if you chose to do freelance work.
In 2019, a survey by MBO Partners found that almost 41.1 million Americans worked as freelancers, whether it was for a few hours a month or full-time. To be more specific, almost 15 million people said they were part-time freelancers, and 12.4 million said they were full-time freelancers.
With numbers like these, it’s important to get ready to work on your own and do it well. Use this guide to learn what freelancing is, how to find companies and jobs that are hiring, and what qualities you need to be a successful freelancer.
What Is Freelancing? Definition and Meaning
A freelance job is basically one in which a person works for themselves instead of for a company. Even though freelancers do contract work for companies and groups, they are still self-employed in the end.
Freelancers have to do a lot of things that regular employees don’t have to, like set their own work hours, keep track of how much time they spend on each project, bill their clients, and pay their own business and employment taxes. Companies that hire freelancers don’t call them “employees.” Instead, they call them “contractors.”
Who is a Freelancer? More Ways to Say “Freelancer” and What They Mean
“Freelancer” can mean a lot of different things. When you’re looking for freelance work, there are a few terms you should know. These can help you find freelance jobs, and you can also use them to tell potential clients about yourself and the work you do.
Contract work is when you get a job as a temporary worker instead of a full-time employee.
Contract work and contract jobs are the same.
Independent contractor is another way to say freelancer, but the terms of your work are set by a contract with another business or person.
1099: Refers to the IRS form 1099-MISC that an independent contractor fills out, and is often used to describe the job (“This is a 1099 contract role”).
A contract consultant is someone who is hired by a company to help with specific problems for a short time.
Contract-to-hire is a type of job that starts out as a freelance, independent contractor job but could turn into a regular employee job if everything goes well.
How to Find Freelance Work
A good way to start looking for freelance work is to focus on companies or people who are known to hire freelancers.
Most Common Freelance Career Fields
As you can see from the freelance job listings on different freelancing sites, many companies, organizations, and government agencies hire freelancers. You can find work in almost any field you can think of, and the freelance jobs range from small, short-term jobs to full-time, long-term jobs.
These are the fields that hire the most freelancers:
- Accounting & Finance
- Customer Service
- Computer & IT
- Medical & Health
- HR & Recruiting
- Education & Training
Pros and Cons of Freelancing
Freelancing is like any other job in that it has its pros and cons. If you know what the problems are, you can be ready for them.
Pros of Freelancing
One of the best things about freelancing is that you can choose your workload, your clients, and your income. When you work on your own, you are in charge. You decide which jobs to take, which clients to work for, and how much to charge for each job. Depending on how skilled you are, you might be able to work part-time hours but get paid for full-time work.
Flexibility and working from home are also benefits. Most of the time, doing freelance work means working from your home office at times you choose. You will have to meet deadlines, but you can choose when and where you work.
Cons of Freelancing
When you have the most power, you also have more responsibilities. As a freelancer, you run your own business, so you need to keep track of your taxes, invoices, and payments. You also need to find your own health insurance and buy all of the software and technology you need to do your work.
Another real problem with freelancing is the “feast or famine syndrome.” Some months will be jam-packed with work, while the next month might be slow or even empty. You might be counting on a steady contract with a client, only to find out that they no longer need you. To be a freelancer, you need to be good with your money and always be looking for new clients.
As a freelancer, you need to have certain traits and qualities.
There are a few things you should have if you want to be successful as a freelancer. Even though this isn’t a complete list, it will help you figure out where to put your attention.
When you spend an hour online shopping instead of working, no one is watching you out of the corner of their eye and no one is there to judge you. To stay on track, you need self-discipline.
It’s always important to be persistent, but it’s even more important when you’re just starting out as a freelancer and trying to find work.
As a freelancer, you’ll hear one word more than any other: “no.” The name of the game is getting turned down, and you’ll need to let it roll off your back.
You are in charge of many different things. It’s up to you to keep track of your income and expenses, respond quickly to emails from clients, meet your deadlines, organize your files, and make sure your work is organized.
You don’t have to be outgoing in the traditional sense to get new clients, but you do have to be a little pushy. If you want your business to grow, you need to be comfortable networking and talking to strangers, whether you do it in person or online.
As a freelancer, you have to talk to a lot of people. You have to be willing to have hard conversations, like negotiating a higher rate or breaking up with a client, and handle them with tact and professionalism. You don’t have a boss or a coworker who can do that dirty work for you.