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Freelancing Myths: 

Expectation vs. Reality

Article written by Herlene Somook, Content Manager at NextStep

· Digital Nomad,Blog Post,Entrepreneurship

Because of platforms like Upwork, it's easier to find the suitable talent for job posts. Like any other trend, misconceptions of the industry emerge. These hearsays can both encourage or discourage people in making the shift. 

If you are among the many who are thinking of shifting to freelancing, then this is a must read.

1. Freelancing = freedom

Expectation:  Freelancing means absolute freedom.

Freelancing = Freedom

Reality: Yes, freelancers have the option of choosing which projects they want to do. But freelancing can actually involve more work because you become a one-man team. You’ll have to learn how to manage your own clients and how to market yourself to get more. You list down specific, realistic skills that will help others decide to hire you. Working for yourself gets you some sort of freedom. But that doesn’t mean you can slack off and do whatever you want just because you’re no longer part of a company.

2. Freelancers have a ton of time on their hands  

Expectation: Freelancing gives you time to do whatever you want.

Freelancers have a ton of time on their hands

Reality: A quick cup of coffee with a friend or a trip to the mall can lead to working until midnight. There are times that you'd also need to work on the weekends to make sure you meet your deadline. It might also come to getting phone calls in the wee hours of the morning if your client is on a different time zone. Freelancers also get paid by the hour, so if you don’t work, you also don’t get paid.

3. Working remotely means you get to stay in your pajamas all day.

Expectation:  Freelancers work in their #wokeuplikethis face all day. Heck you don’t even need clothes.

Reality: A perk of working remotely means ditching the smart casuals for shorts and t-shirt. But, it still pays to have a morning routine to set the mood for the day. Getting out of your sleepwear also conditions your mind to switch gears to work mode. Productivity methods actually encourage cold showers in the morning to help boost creativity.

4. Freelancers work alone.

Expectation: Working remotely means you don’t have to work with others.  

Freelancers work alone.

Reality: As a freelancer, you also get to work with other people on specific projects and collaborate with other creatives. Since I work on creating content, I also get to work with other teams and get to know people online. Currently, I work with a graphic artist who deals with flyers for events, brochures and other marketing materials for our client.

5. Freelancers are anti-social.

Expectation: Freelancers who work remotely are not “people persons”

Freelancers are anti-social

Reality: Working alone sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Forums, groups and other freelancer communities are thriving. Co-working spaces enable freelancers to mingle with others while working on their projects. Networking events are a great way to connect with others and get to know people in the industry. 

Freelancing might not be for everyone, but it's a great way to get to know yourself and your limits. It takes a lot of guts, smarts and management skills to make it work. It also takes passion to be successful at what you do and the insatiable desire to be better than what you were yesterday.

So, are you ready to make the shift? 

Herlene Somook is a creative entrepreneur based in Manila, Philippines. A graduate of AB Psychology, she was a Kumon Reading teacher for five years before jumping ship to the Business Process Outsourcing industry. She has been a digital nomad and freelance writer for a little over two years, and enjoys reading bedtime stories to her bouncing toddler.

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