Paul-M-W 4:24pm, 31 July 2011
OK, I work for a company at the moment but I'm dying to go freelance to free up some time for myself (and get rid of the boss as he's really hard to work with). I have a few clients of my own although I haven't really advertised my services yet.

A lot of people seem to like my work so far so should I just drop the job and go for it? I've been putting it off for no good reason for over a year now. Can anyone give me some advice?!
Kinematic Digit PRO 6 years ago
The best time to go freelance is when you know you can avoid procrastination.

Freelance is by no means easier than a daily 9-5 job. It's more work, and freelancers fall into that terrible trap of taking a really good job, then sit idle until they need more money.

If you have good work ethics, organized, and good avoiding procrastination, you'll be fine. But if you know you have a propensity to avoid follow-up or take care of necessary paperwork, you should really reconsider and get your house in order before you consider taking it on yourself.

Being a freelancer means you're the accountant, account rep, manager, project manger, and the grunt, all well before you do anything creative.
Rex Lightfoot 6 years ago
Freelancing is 50% business management/50% creative. If you enjoy the two equally and have more than a few months savings to survive until you build up your client base, then go for it.
Paul-M-W 6 years ago
I know it's a tricky thing to do, but I do have good organisational skills and some savings to cover the worst. I'm still a little unsure about which way to go, but I am sure that it must be more satisfying working for yourself than a company.

Many thanks to you both for your replies.
timothy.holt 6 years ago
Check out this book, it might give you some really good insight about pursing your dream job. Im in the processes of reading it and I hope to someday make the move to freelance myself.

Take care,

Kinematic Digit PRO 6 years ago
Paul Michael Wilson said:
that it must be more satisfying working for yourself than a company.
It is and it isn't. The number 1 thing that you must realize as a freelancer is that you get to deal with the clients face to face. This is both a blessing and a curse. When the client is one that works well with you, it's awesome, when it is not, you dread the days you went freelance.

In an employee environment, the a-holes are usually buffered by your boss. Sometimes it takes a few freelance clients before you realize just how bad it can be but generally speaking, you'll have at least one out of four a-hole clients.
Rex Lightfoot Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Rex Lightfoot (member) 6 years ago
From personal experience I think it's an age thing (I've been freelancing for a number of years), but one of my own stipulations is to point-blank refuse to work with a-holes, because a) they're a pain in the ass to work with and make a job doubly difficult, and b) more often than not they quibble about costs. They're not worth the time or the stress and so far I've been extremely fortunate by sticking to that principle.
m o n t s 6 years ago
ive freelanced and been full time over the years. I fell into doing agency work quite a lot which can sometimes mean you dont get the most thrilling projects. As said if your a good self promoter and generally get on well with people and can cover the costs until you get up and going. took about 18 months for me to feel comfortable (ish) with not knowing what the next week/month would bring. im full time again now which of course has its downsides, but then again it also has holiday pay, sickness cover .. shit, who am i kidding.. it sucks. go for it!
Paul-M-W 6 years ago
Thank you everyone for your helpful and clear comments, they are much appreciated.

Philippa Phirefly PRO 6 years ago
Your original question was "when?" For me, 'when' came when I was working as many hours freelance as I was in my full time job (i.e. every evening till late and every weekend = killer) When it got to that stage, I took the leap. If you can, start taking freelance assignments now and build them up until you're confident it's going to carry you. Good luck and go for it - best thing I ever did (oh and flat-rate VAT is a peach)
austins PRO 6 years ago
You go freelance when you get sick of working for others and not being able to pick your clients.

You then do that for a bit.

Then you go back to a 9-5 gig when you realize you miss your weekends and a steady paycheck.

Of course, now you have a boss again and clients you can't pick. So eventually, you go back to freelance.

You repeat that throughout your career.

'tis the curse of the graphic designer.
Rick Soto [deleted] 6 years ago
Ok, so Paul.

Freelance in what area? Photography? Design?

If it's in design, I'll let you know (like others) it's a 24/7/365 job. The hardest part is landing the project...then getting paid. The easy aspect is doing the the assignment. Seriously. It's the only fun you'll have. I built up an agency just from freelance and in the end, 90% of my time was dealing with a bunch of crap. The balance (10%) was doing what I really enjoyed.

If it's photography...I dunno. Maye you get a pony, paint it like a zebra and go door to door taking pictures of the kiddies. Ok, just kidding...but, you'll need a rep.

Good luck!
wurkingartist 6 years ago
Well Paul, did you go freelance? I've had the opposite experience than the above poster. Freelance 14 years now and though there's ups and downs, all the positive has outweighed the negative. I found the issue of stability to be of the most importance and best remedied with faithful clients and good relationships. Quality over quantity will reap you a happy and successful future. Hopefully it works out for you.
Metro Tiff PRO 6 years ago
Weddings are the biggest dollar assignments, and you only do them on Saturdays. The next part of the week for follow up, and other smaller shoots. Get releases too and you might be able to sell some of the images to the miriad of wedding magazines as a added bonus. There are so many options and marketing options it's crazy.
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