The freelance life certainly has its benefits. Being your own boss, the ability to work from anywhere, and having an uber flexible schedule are just some of the allures of being a freelancer. However, as wonderful as those things may sound, this path isn’t for everyone.
Freelancing comes with a lot of uncertainty, especially at the beginning. Unlike a regular job, it doesn’t offer a steady paycheck nor does it come with free or discounted insurance plans and benefits. Not everyone can be freelancers. In fact, there are people that will actually excel more when they’re part of a company or when they have a boss to answer to. (And that’s perfectly fine.)
So how exactly do you know which path to take? Are you meant to climb the corporate ladder or are you cut out to be your own boss?
If you find yourself asking these questions, it’s time to do a little self-exploration. Chances are if you’re leaning towards the freelance path, you’re already exhibiting some of these signs:
1. The thought of a stable job doesn’t comfort you.
Work for someone else so you can make them rich? No, thank you. While others relish the thought of being steadily employed until they retire, you think that being an employee (even if it’s high-level employment) for life isn’t comforting – it’s a death sentence.
You know for yourself that you’re meant to do something more than to just wake up and go work for someone else. Even if “doing something more” isn’t all that clear yet, you’re positive that being an employee isn’t it.
2. Water cooler chit-chats don’t interest you.
There are those who love to socialize whenever they free up some time at the office. You? Not so much. During your breaks, you’d rather work on your side projects, catch up on current events, or pick up a self-development book than hang out at the water cooler. It’s not that you’re being anti-social. You just have more productive things to do with your time.
3. You’re taking steps to expand your knowledge.
Learning either slows down or stops for the vast majority of people in the rat race. To them, graduating and joining the workforce means that they never have to pick up a book or take another class again.
This just isn’t the case with you. You’re always striving to expand your knowledge and improve, so you read books, take courses, and follow blogs such as this one.
4. You’ve invested in your hobby.
You don’t have a “take it or leave it” attitude towards your hobby. It’s not something that you do because you’re bored or because it could maybe earn you extra cash. You’re doing it because you’re awesome at it and you love it. In fact you love it so much that you’re willing to invest time and money on educational materials and equipment so you can further develop your skills.
PS: You’ve also stopped referring to it as just your “hobby” because to you, writing, creating websites, telling stories, or whatever it is that you love doing is more than just a pastime. You see it as your profession, your business, and–at the risk of sounding trite – your passion.