There's a lot of hype about freelance employment that can lead many work-at-home moms astray. Working as a freelancer is a great opportunity to provide you with additional income, or make a living from home. It's full of challenges though, and if you're not prepared to handle stress and less than favorable situations, you'll soon be looking for full time employment outside the home. Debunking some myths about freelance employment shouldn't scare you off, but arm you with information to approach it in a way that will make you successful.
1. You're Your Own Boss
Freelance employment means that you're not on someone's payroll, and your employer doesn't have to provide you with any benefits. You're able to work at home, and complete assignments with little or no supervision. That doesn't mean that you don't have a boss. Every freelance employer is a boss, with their own rules and deadlines to satisfy. If you don't keep them happy, you can get fired, and another freelancer will take your place. Keep that in mind as you search for freelance employment.
Don't ever think that you can dictate to the client what they ought to do, unless you're hired as a consultant for that purpose. Otherwise, you have to work as if you were an employee, if you want to derive income from that client.
2. You can Pick and Choose Assignments
You can in theory choose the line of work and assignments to work
on. However, it's not often in your best interest to limit yourself.
For example, if you're a virtual bookkeeper and you only choose to
enter accounts payable and receivable, but never take on payroll
services, the well for freelance employment may dry up. The economic
reality is that you have to take on assignments that don't interest you
if you want to make a living from home.
3. Your Schedule Is Your Own
Freelance employment is attractive to many work-at-home moms, because of the flexibility it offers. The freedom is not unlimited though, and you have to meet deadlines. While you may be able to get your work done early in the morning before your children wake up, or work late at night, you still have to work within your employer's schedule. They may require you to submit an assignment within 24 hours, which may require you to make adjustments to your personal and work schedules. With so much competition for freelance employment, it can be difficult to find employment that doesn't have strict deadlines, and it's something you need to keep in mind.
4. Payment Is Regular
Many freelance employers pay on a regular basis, but the frequency of payments is the issue. "Regular" often means once a month, and if you're not used to managing money well, you will find yourself in trouble when around the last two weeks of the month. Some freelance employment pays when an entire project is complete. Saving for emergencies and living as frugal as possible will help you in between payments and employment. That's just the life of a freelancer.
None of these myths should stop you from pursuing freelance employment. Knowing the realities will only make you stronger as a freelancer.