Freelancing has become more popular in recent years, especially after the pandemic.
Being able to work from home on your terms is what many people choose to do for the numerous benefits such a lifestyle offers.
Hand in hand with the newly discovered freedom, there is another part of being a freelancer.
The difficulties that freelancers face on an everyday basis should not be underestimated.
Not having a boss and having to do almost all tasks by themselves can turn into an intense experience.
Here are the most common issues freelancers come across and proven ways to deal with them:
1. Finding Projects or Tasks to Work On
For people involved in bigger freelancing projects where their work time depends on the client or manager, whenever there is no work available, it can feel frustrating.
The final payment depends on tasks completed, and not being able to fulfill any could leave the freelancer without income for that period.
A similar situation can happen in between projects when the freelancer can’t quickly find another good offer to participate in.
This leaves him/her with no certainty about the future and can cause feelings of emptiness.
One of the options in such cases is to stay informed of the latest changes and offers in the freelancer’s market.
Make it a habit to browse through the projects on the most popular freelancing platforms at least once a week. Research new projects and job opportunities, and bookmark them.
The entire process would take around 10–20 minutes of your time, but it will guarantee you that when it’s time to find a new project or client, you will be up to date with the latest news.
2. Not Having a Consistent Income
Some of the projects will be loaded with lots of jobs, and freelancers will not be able to complete all of the tasks for months, while others will finish in no time.
The amount of work that freelancers do is not fixed in time.
Each month is different, and this raises the issue of dealing with these inconsistencies.
A typical situation is when they work on one project for months, even years, and then the project ends, leaving them with no income until they find a new option.
What you can do for this challenge is manage your money wisely.
Keep a savings account with enough funds to support you when things get tough.
It doesn’t have to be a big amount, but make sure you can afford at least three months without any projects.
This will help reduce the stress caused by inconsistent income and allow you to focus on finding your next client.
3. Social Distancing
Living the lifestyle of a freelancer lowers offline interactions with others.
This can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation.
It is not uncommon for a freelancer to feel these emotions. Humans are social beings, and it’s important to maintain healthy relationships with others.
Isolation is a serious condition that can turn into anxiety.
Not dealing with this issue can have an impact on your work productivity.
It’s important to address this matter as soon as it arises and make sure to take the necessary precautions.
Make time to meet friends and family members to stay motivated and connected with your social circle.
It’s a necessity to maintain your relationships and work on them even harder when colleagues do not surround you and you work on your own.
Another great option is taking walks in nature.
They will influence your overall mood, and recharge you to be more productive in your job.
4. Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Freelancing allows for spending more time at home, but this raises the challenge of keeping the balance between work and personal life.
When a person is focused on a particular task, it is nearly impossible to pay attention to their surroundings.
Housework can be delayed, and quality time with family members can be reduced.
All those things can cause additional stress that needs to be managed.
Another challenge of working as a freelancer, especially when work is primarily done from home, is that home turns into an office.
It is difficult to differentiate between work and free time when the environment doesn’t change.
This is a psychological issue that many freelancers encounter, and it is not something that we should ignore.
Create a routine and a special time for family members.
Make sure everyone is on the same page about when you are working and when you are not.
Being constantly distracted and interrupted during your work shift will lead to lower efficiency and relationship issues.
Mixing things up and not having a set time for the job and your breaks will lead to exhaustion.
That’s why it’s important to have everything straight and clear to avoid unpleasant situations.
Make a separate space specifically for work and use it whenever you are doing your job.
5. Being Your Own Accountant
Highly-paid freelancers may be able to afford to hire an accountant for their administrative tasks.
However, this is not a necessity, and the law allows dealing with personal documentation without professional help.
Since freelancers are not officially on an employee contract, they are responsible for paying their income taxes and insurance and filing any other required documents.
This adds to the already busy schedule of the freelancer.
Usually, the employer has the responsibility of taking care of any administrative tasks.
Transferring these tasks to a single person can lead to frustration and stress.
The reasons are having to learn how to properly submit the documents and spending the time to complete all related tasks.
Develop the mindset of being curious about the numbers in your business.
Of course, administration can be repetitive and boring, but accepting it as part of your independence and being eager to learn more about it is the winning strategy here.
For highly successful freelancers who don’t have the time to deal with accounting tasks, the best option is to hire a professional to manage their documentation.
Feelings of stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and loneliness are all frequent in the freelancing world.
It is important to address these conditions and take the proper steps towards resolving them.
Be sure to strive to improve your time management skills, strengthen your social connections, and seek out support whenever it is necessary.
By having the confidence to navigate through the challenges and embracing the benefits of working by your rules, you can create a safe environment to enjoy being a freelancer and grow in your career.