Is Freelancing Worth the Risk?


If there’s a million-dollar question about freelancing, this would probably be it. For aspiring freelancers and those struggling to get their freelance career off the ground, imagine if you could glimpse into the future and see whether it’s worth the effort, the risk, and the time of becoming a freelancer. Of course, nothing is that easy, but there are ways to predict whether freelancing is worth the risk…

So, how do you feel about freelancing?

It’s the dream

You’ve tested the waters with a side hustle and you know the freelance life is for you. You dream about being your own boss, managing your own hours, and working on your own career goals. You’ve got a small client base, a few savings pots, and a great support network. If this sounds like you, then freelancing is often worth the risk, because the long-term rewards if you get it right are complete freedom, better work-life balance, and autonomy over your life. Of course, it takes time to reach this level, and the start of your freelance journey might be a struggle, but short-term pain can lead to long-term massive gain.

The verdict: Worth the risk.

It’s a stop-gap

With a lack of permanent jobs due to Brexit uncertainty, it’s tempting to take up freelancing to fill a gap before going back to traditional jobs. The problem is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to become an established freelancer, so you might not earn much for months or even years. Plus some recruiters and employers are wary of former freelancers’ commitment, rule-following, and desire for independence, so it might not be so easy to re-enter the jobs market. If you just need to fill a gap, temp jobs may be a better option than freelancing.

The verdict: Probably not worth the risk.

It’s a possibility

If the idea of freelancing is intriguing but you’re not sure, then committing whole-hog is certainly risky. You might give up a stable job for something you end up not liking. To avoid this risk, try freelancing as a side hustle first to see whether it’s right for you before taking the plunge. The freelance lifestyle is very different to being an employee and requires different skills and characteristics, so it’s only worth the risk if you can be relatively certain that it suits your personality, life goals, and working style.

The verdict: May be worth the risk.

It’s a pipedream

Sometimes, something can be appealing but not realistic or practical given the circumstances. If freelancing is your dream but you have bills to pay, no support network, and no back-up savings, then it’s a very risky move. While there’s never an 100% right time to ditch your job for something uncertain, there are definitely wrong times to do it. In the early days of your freelance career, the well can often run dry, so it’s not worth risking your house over. Instead, it’s better to build up your savings and support network, develop a side hustle to gain extra income and a client base, then reconsider freelancing when your situation is more stable.

The verdict: Not worth the risk right now.

Mitigate the risks

As well as considering your current circumstances, you can also mitigate the risks of freelancing by:

  • Managing your money effectively to always have back-up savings.
  • Building up a strong client base who offer ongoing work.
  • Exceeding your clients’ expectations to build an amazing reputation.
  • Establishing yourself as a leader and expert within your field.
  • Having alternative earning streams such as passive income.
  • Continuing to improve and develop your skills to stay ahead of the market.

The verdict

If your dream is to be a freelancer, you’ve tested the waters with a side hustle, you have a good back-up pot, and you’ve mitigated the risks, then freelancing certainly can be worth the risks!

Where are you on your freelance journey? Does freelancing feel like it’s worth the risk at the moment? I’d love to know, so comment below or or get in touch!

Stay tuned and follow A Freelance Life for more freelance tips every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…

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