Each year I guest-lecture to the Algonquin College Technical Writing Program students, giving them my take on being a freelancer (aka consultant, contractor, self-employed person who rows her own boat instead of someone else’s).
The students always want to know if/how freelancing is better than having a fulltime job for someone else. It’s “better” only if it makes you happier. And unless this career path is foist upon you—there are no fulltime positions available and you really do prefer to eat occasionally—it’s a lifestyle choice.
To help determine if this is a lifestyle you might enjoy, I’ve put together the following mini-questionnaire.
- Do you deal well with uncertainty?
- Are you very self-disciplined?
- Are you willing to work nights, weekends—whatever it takes—to get the job done?
- Do you love to learn new things?
- Can you learn really, really fast?
- Are you really good at time management?
- Do you play well with others and also work well independently?
- Do you enjoy job interviews?
- Are you good at math—or at least willing to get good enough at it to do your invoicing, bookkeeping, tax prep, etc.
There are no right or wrong answers, but if you said “No” to many of these questions, you might not be suited to a freelance lifestyle.
If you have other questions that you think should be added—or if you think any of the questions on my list should be changed or deleted—please share your thoughts in the Comments section of this blog.