Not so long ago, self-employed workers faced a variety of obstacles. Not including the challenges of managing their own finances, freelance workers were often not taken as seriously as their more traditional counterparts, often written off as being non-committal or unable to find a job.
Yet thanks to rapid advancements in technology, and major transformations taking place within the contemporary workplace, it’s easier than ever for workers to reclaim their independence.
While many workers desire more independence and creative autonomy, it can be difficult to leave behind a secure job and consistent paycheck. Luckily, the professional landscape embraces freelance workers now more than ever and now is the ideal time to consider quitting your job and going freelance.
Coworking spaces are on the rise
One of the most commonplace issues facing freelancers is isolation. As inherently social beings, people need to interact with one another more often than not, and for freelancers, it’s not just loneliness that can pose a problem, but continual isolation can lead to a decline in productivity. To combat some of the issues associated with the remote work lifestyle, coworking spaces began cropping up in the mid-1990s offering freelancers flexible and professional workspaces that also aim to facilitate networking and collaboration. Created by freelancers, for freelancers, as the number of self-employed individuals started to rise, so did the number of coworking spaces.
Today there are close to 10,000 spaces worldwide, and that number is continuing to grow. So, whether you’re a digital nomad, or based in one place, there’s likely to be a coworking space in your area. And if you’re not sure where to find your nearest coworking space, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you do just that.
It’s easier than ever to self-manage your finances
In the early stages of the development of the freelance economy, many self-employed workers were met with the huge burden of managing their own finances. From keeping track of invoices to setting up your own company, one wrong calculation could lead to a major penalty come tax season. The added stress of having to take care of both professional and personal finances, in addition to balancing clients and various projects can make it challenging for freelancers to excel in the long run.
Luckily, in recent years, technology has been kind to the self-employed and there has been an influx of affordable money management tools that were created to help freelancers take control of their finances. Tools like FreshBooks and Quickbooks Self-Employed cater to freelancer needs and make sure no box goes unticked when it comes to tax filing season. If you are completely new to freelancing and are looking for some guidance before you start handling finances on your own, there are plenty of freelance budgeting experts out there that can help you or your company learn to handle your money.
More autonomy provides more opportunity
There’s a lot to be said for taking control of your professional life. In addition to having the freedom to choose which hours in the day work best for you, going full-time freelance leaves you open to new opportunities you might have missed out on had you been stuck in the same office each day in and day out. As the freelance workforce grows, even major companies are willingly hiring contractors, which has led to any previous stigmas about working with contractors to dissipate. Due to the current upsurge in available work for freelancers, self-employed workers now have the opportunity to gain much-needed experience in addition to diversifying their resumes and skill sets.
Whether you are already planning to quit your job or have always wished that you could be a freelancer, there has never been a better time than now.Today there are more opportunities than ever before that allow independent professionals to not only survive out there on their own but thrive in their independence.
About the Author:
Dr. Diane Schleier-Keller is a business strategist and finance columnist. She has 3 years of experience in M&A and has been traveling the world to help train entrepreneurs to succeed in their business. You may also connect with her on Twitter.