Becoming a freelancer, especially as a working mum, will involve a lot of work, commitment and possibly risk on your part. And while some people love the uncertainty, adventure and potential rewards of freelance work, others find that they hanker after the security of a permanent job.
So if you’re beginning to think that being a freelancer could be the way forward for you, it’s a good idea to really examine whether you’re ready and happy for the challenge. And making sure you have the right personality is as important as having the skills and contacts to build a successful freelance career.
The qualities of a successful freelancer
Most successful freelancers share the same few core qualities:
- A willingness to take risks.
- An acceptance of uncertainty.
- Great networking skills.
- Initiative and self-discipline.
- A love of hard work.
- Passion and enthusiasm for what they do.
- Creativity and adaptability.
Ask yourself if you could be a freelancer
It doesn’t matter how skilled, experienced or qualified you are in your field. If you don’t have the right personality to be a freelancer you may not be successful, and you certainly won’t enjoy it.
To help you explore whether freelance work may be a good choice for you, think about the answers to the following questions:
- Do you enjoy risk?
- Are you comfortable with uncertainty?
- Can you spot and grab opportunities?
- Do you enjoy working hard?
- Are you realistic?
- Are you organised?
- Can you multitask?
- Are you self-motivated?
- Are you self-disciplined?
- Do you get on well with people?
- Are you good at networking?
- Can you cope with setbacks?
- Are you reliable?
- Can you easily understand what people want?
- Can you prioritise?
- Can you plan ahead?
- Are you able to commit to projects?
- Are you hungry to learn?
- Do you believe in your abilities?
- Are you thorough?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all or most of these questions, you can feel confident that you will probably enjoy and succeed at being a freelancer – and start thinking about some of the practical considerations freelance work entails.
However, if some of the questions filled you with dread it may be that being a freelancer isn’t the right choice for you. You may find instead that flexible work offers you the work-life balance you are looking for as a working mum, with the security of a regular income.Hannah Martin