Freelancing Problems


As in any industry, freelancing too has its due share of problems. Working as a freelancer needs tremendous commitment.

For a freelancer to be successful, he needs to tide over following problems:

1. The first problem that awaits a freelancer is working with distractions at home. Watching TV, delicacies in fridge and in short everything else seems more appealing than work. Working at home needs much more discipline than it may initially appear.

2. A freelancer needs some time for establishing himself. To avoid running into periods of dry spell of work, a freelancer forgets How to say No. Learning to say No, when needed, helps in choosing right assignments suiting his caliber, getting appropriate project revenue. He should not accept a work he cant deliver.

3. Underselling: A new entrant in this field stands a lower chance of getting a contract against established players with great online reputation. To get a toehold in the industry, he is tempted to bid low and this circle continues with coming newbies continually hammering down the prices.

4. Self Promotion: It is common for a free lancer to get trapped in a clients work and forget his own self promotion. This may lead him into a dry spell of work once he is through with his present assignments. One must set apart some time every day for keeping his presence fresh. Maintaining and periodically updating a blog would help a lot to keep his visibility.

5. Delay in Receipt of Payment: Delay in receipt of payment is another critical area not for a freelancer alone but this is hampering growth of this industry as well. If a freelancer does not have another source of regular income, any delay in receipt of money can upset his whole finances.

6. Working with different cultures: A freelancer needs to adapt working with different cultures and get along with such new working relationships. He needs to be in proper contact with his client by email or IM. Failure to maintain proper channels of communication can lead to loss of repeat orders from such client or cancellation of orders. This problem can be overcome by taking the initiative and be in regular touch with your clients to show them new work.

7. No Support Departments: As against a regular set up where different professionals are there to manage different areas, a freelancer has to manage all the departments as invoicing, legal, marketing, accounting, himself.

8. No Social Security: Freelancing means Goodbye to Christmas bonus, sick pay, paid holiday or health benefits. Worst of all, not many people would understand the concept of 'being employed' when you are at home.

9. Dispute Resolving: Most small freelancing jobs are awarded through very brief description.

10. Clarity on Contract: Chatting or emails are not perfect substitute of one-to-one talk. Quite often freelancing contracts land in disputes because of lack of clarity of terms in the very beginning.

11. Resource Crunch: As a freelancer, the resources available are meager. Usually there are no stand-by arrangements in case of any breakdown in any resource.

12. Receipt of Payments: Some countries lack mechanism to receive money. PayPal, one of the popular payment gateways, has no presence in many countries including Pakistan which has a large population of free lancers. Receiving payment through normal banking channels, besides being time consuming proves expensive in terms of bank charges.

13. Others: Freelancing is plagued with some other problems too as uncertainty of work, lack of benefits as health insurance, retirement pay that come with regular jobs, working long hours especially during initial days, planning of holidays as every day off means no money, Balancing Client expectations etc.

It is not that all is bad as a freelancer. There are great many advantages too. The converse that once youve enjoyed the freedom as a freelancer and established yourself, its very hard to go back to regular jobs. You are free from office politics and if you are a good administrator, you can make a healthy work environment at home too.

If you want to settle as a freelancer, do research the segment you want to enter into, research the competition, have heart for initial settling down period and soon you would be a great professional in the industry.

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