Leaving a steady job to join the gig economy? Here are three things you should know

Leaving a steady job to join the gig economy? Here are three things you should know

First, it’s OK if you decide to do something different from your current job. The flexibility of being self-employed has enabled many to pursue other passions and hobbies, or even start a business. And those with the freedom to work for themselves are earning more than ever before, too.

Almost 5 million workers quit their jobs during the pandemic and moved into the freelance industry. According to recent statistics, the global freelance market has an approximate value of $1.5 trillion, which means there is a market for you as a freelancer, regardless of your industry.

As your own boss, you have a business to run, but new entrepreneurs have to stay disciplined and tend to their freelance occupations as they would an actual business, or they can get into trouble.

While the road to freelance success can be steep, there are guidelines to benefit those who are looking to take the leap. As you define your freelance goals, here are three tips:

  • Manage your workload. While gig work is exciting and interesting, becoming successful requires a lot of drive and initiative to get going and stay on track. It’s better to complete three projects in a week with time to spare than to take on five and need to push deadlines back. To prevent biting off more than you can chew, track projects with an online calendar. Digital workflow management tools can help you keep your business and personal tasks organized and prioritized successfully. Some of the top management tools include Trello, Asana, Smartsheet, Zoho and ClickUpIf you’re more of a paper-and-pencil type of organizer, try the Burner Method for prioritizing tasks.
  • Promote and market your business. Even the best businesses cannot survive without the right publicity. You have to tell people what your business is about. Connect with other freelancers in the industry for insights into trends that can help expand your reach and grow your business. Broadcast your unique services to the communities that need you the most through your website, blog, marketing partnerships, social media business sites, YouTube channel, podcasts, email newsletters, publications and speaking engagements.
  • Make sound financial decisions. “Making wise financial decisions as a freelancer is crucial, especially before establishing the client base that will lead to generating a stable income,” said Keith Sun, director of experiential learning in UC’s Lindner Career Service Center. Staying on top of your personal finances will set up your business for success. Begin by determining your rate (either hourly or project-based), then calculate your expenses, obtain appropriate insurance coverage and read about the tax system, particularly how deductions work and when you should involve an accountant.

Featured image at top: Photo by Domenico Loia/Unsplash

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