5 Habits Every Freelancer Needs To Know

Dictating your own schedule and moving around freely sound enticing, but working on your own requires discipline, focus, good time management and realistic expectations. Here are five things to get accustomed in being your own boss.

1. Being honest with yourself
Know your capabilities, be realistic about how much you can do, to avoid wasting employers’ valuable time. This tarnishes your reputation, which is crucial for freelancers.

2. Bolster your credibility with CV  
Extensive full-time work experiences are vital, and academic qualifications a bonus though not necessary for some industries. Most importantly, your skills and knowledge acquired over the years give you an edge for a long-term freelance career.

3. Be savvy with assignments
Take those with better gains, naturally. But don’t be too choosy – even veteran freelancers know the world doesn’t owe them a living. Employers generally seek candidates who offer the best rates. Some employers are also willing to pay more for a freelancer with an “added edge”, for unique work results.

4. Follow up after the work is done
Don’t feel guilty about bugging the employers – yes, they are busy people – to check if you’ve met their expectations, and to learn from mistakes made. You also get to establish a closer rapport with the employer.

5. Dealing with loneliness
Occasionally you’ll feel the blues working in solipsism from home. But tell yourself that it’s better than enduring daily traffic jams heading to the office, and facing aggressive bosses or colleagues. With the passing of time, you’ll get used to it.

When chartering your own path, the boundaries between work and play are blurred. No public or festive holidays would halt your work. But there are benefits to gain later.

Tan Hee Hui