People choose to freelance alongside a full time job for many reasons. For some, it’s so they can worry a little less about bills coming in at the end of the month. For others, it’s a way to test the waters and transition into full time freelancing without the risk of losing their current income.
Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you need to think about before you decide to take the plunge.
Obviously, Time Management Is Crucial
Ask any freelancer how they handle their work day-to-day and they will tell you that time management, as well as discipline, are crucial to success. Sure, as a freelancer you have the ability to work when you want but that doesn’t mean you should slack off.
If you choose to do no work one day you’ll have to catch up on it tomorrow, increasing the number of hours you spend at your desk. This often leads to a whole host of issues such as increased stress, falling behind on work and bad client relationships.
If you plan to freelance in the evenings after finishing work, ensure you give yourself adequate time to rest and rejuvenate before starting. Avoid giving yourself too much to do each night and take frequent short breaks whilst you work.
Whatever hours you plan on working each night, make sure you stick to them. Don’t allow other things to get in the way and don’t make excuses. Without discipline, you are doomed to fall behind in freelancing.
Don’t Take On More Than You Can Handle
It’s important to know your limits when freelancing. If you take on too much and are forced to work tired, then your freelance work will suffer. Your main goal may be to increase the amount of money coming in each month but that doesn’t make it acceptable to produce sloppy work.
If you find yourself continually producing work that isn’t of a high standard, not only do you risk losing your current client but you’ll also have nothing of value to show to prospective new clients. Some people can come home and work three hours a night, some only one. After a long day at work, only you can know your limits.
Some people find that they simply can’t muster up the energy to freelance after a long day at work and that’s okay. Instead, they choose to freelance at the weekends when they have more time and a clearer head.
Working the weekends definitely has its advantages. It allows you to get up early and start working when you’re probably at your most productive.
Alternatively, if you are considering taking on a lot of freelance work, you also have the option to use your weekends for more complex work and weekdays for easier going jobs. It’s up to you.
Staying On Top
It can be tough to stay on top of freelance work when you’re trying to maintain a full-time job as well but there are a few things you can do to stay ahead of the game.
- Use email – Using email allows you to keep copies of conversations and file them away for future reference. Perfect if you already have a lot on your plate.
- Invest in online invoicing software – Accounting software allows you to easily send and track invoices. It can also help you to keep on top of how much money you’re making and see who’s paying you.
- Routine – Get into a routine and stick to it. When you’re freelancing and working full time, you have to be strict.
- Take it slow – Don’t jump straight into a boatload of freelancing work until you know how much you can handle. This will stop you from falling behind and ease you into freelance life.
Freelancing whilst maintaining a full-time job is no easy task, but it can be highly rewarding for those who are willing to put in the time and effort.