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How to learn to work “without a boss”- general advice for freelancers

Independence- the very goal which many people wishing to work “without a boss” most often strive to attain. Seemingly nobody would tell you what to do, and pressure, permanent stress, conflicts and other nuisances you have to deal with in a “traditional” job would disappear. But is it all so carefree and promising?


Initial difficulties for new freelancers

Self-organisation is the primary cause when many freelancers cannot withstand the pressure of their circumstances and throw in the towel, coming back once more to their “boss”. Generally work is hierarchical, meaning that each employee has a certain part of the work he or she is expected to complete.

If you look closely at a freelancer, his/her independence is simply an illusion. Freelancers need to independently seek orders, communicate with clients, establish an action strategy, propose beneficial conditions, take current trends into consideration, constantly learn etc.

In essence a freelancer takes on the same responsibility which earlier rested with the management. He/she becomes dependent upon everything.


Recommendations for self-organisation

How can I survive in these difficult conditions, not just managing to keep afloat but rapidly moving ahead to new prospects, and importantly, to a new income level? To achieve this, self-organisation is required above all, and the following pieces of advice will help:

  1. It is best to align your work activity to your body clock. For instance, if you are a “night owl” then important decisions should be made in the second half of the day.
  2. You need to keep time and to value it. It is recommended to work by taking small, but effective breaks. For example, half an hour of active work should then be followed by a five-minute break without thinking about work. In the mornings you will probably need to use an alarm clock. After all, you need to meet targets within definitive time frames, and without reducing your sleep you will be unlikely to achieve this.
  3. If at first it is difficult to work without a “belligerent” boss, you can try to install special programs on your computer which help you to analyse your work efficiency during the day, block counter-productive websites (social media and other recreational sites) etc.
  4. For many freelancers, especially at the initial stages, the ability to work away from home helps. This can be a co-working space, a café, a rented space, a park- it does not matter which. The important thing is that you feel comfortable and are able to concentrate on your work. For working at home it is better to designate a specific place which will be convenient, quiet and away from other living spaces.
  5. Take a walk in the fresh air in the middle of the day. Oxygen helps your brain’s functioning, especially if you add some chocolate consumption to this. Incidentally, you should eat so as to ensure a full breakfast or lunch does not turn into a pleasant nap, therefore it is worth exercising moderation when eating. Physical activity, which can reduce muscle tension and keep your body alert and active, also does not hurt.
  6. It is preferable to do something enjoyable before sleeping: reading, taking a hot bath, talking about something nice etc. After all, it is the guarantor of a good night’s sleep, without which the following day’s work cannot be productive.


Searching for work

How can I earn money, and from where can I get orders? Friends, marketplaces, forums, notice-boards- these are the main channels of communication which can help to circulate your C.V and to quickly find work in an area of work which interests you. There are several specialist sites online where numerous orders can be found for freelancers in design, programming, SEO and so on. Amongst such resources the online marketplaces of www.freelancer.com и www.upwork.com are worthy of mention.

There are also highly specialised services. For example, copywriting marketplaces, electronic image banks and so on. Signing up to such resources may help in the search for orders and distance work. Furthermore, you can find clients via social media or your own website. The online world is large, and as a result the opportunities in it are vast- you need only to lay down some goals for yourself and establish a strategy to achieve them and you will succeed!

Important advice! If you are already “salaried” it is not worth abruptly giving it up to be a freelancer. It is better to take on extra work which you can complete during your free time, building up experience, developing a client base, improving your understanding of such a way of earning money and improving your efficiency. In short, it is better to already have a certain level of extra income and only then to definitively part with your familiar lifestyle and management.

Of course, if you have a certain amount of saved capital which can help you to painlessly survive the initial period of working as a freelancer (generally one without much money), then you do not need to give heed to the abovementioned advice.

Moreover, it does not hurt to give some thought to convenient ways to receive money from your clients. Besides opening electronic wallets, it is worth registering on the ePayments system. This allows you to instantly transfer funds, to withdraw electronic money to a prepaid card and to withdraw money according to favourable terms. By using such a service you can save both time and money.

And the most important thing- you may work as a freelancer just for the money, but without an interest in your work this endeavour will unlikely be productive and long-term. Therefore do what you love, perfect it, and your income will grow!

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How to learn to work “without a boss”- general advice for freelancers
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