There are many kinds of people who venture into the field of freelancing, and one such class is that of house-maker moms who try to add money to house income and invest their time in things other than household works. However, as they say, it is not easy being a mom, especially when you are a working mom.
The freelance industry is a place full of opportunities. There are many benefits a working mom can avail: flexibility, limited expenditure on resources, and comfort of home. However, despite all these advantages, there are certain drawbacks for being a part of this industry such as no scheme for pension and other social security benefits. Thus, you might get a mixed feeling about working in this industry, but eventually, you will adjust.
For working moms, freelancing is double the effort. They have to manage their work along with ever-tiring household chores. So, working moms usually run on tight schedules and therefore, their freelancing experience might be distinct from other people.
This does not mean that mothers should not freelance—on the contrary, they should. However, there are certain things they should keep in mind for their own good.
In this article, we will talk about 9 tips which every working mom should keep in mind to establish and develop their career as a freelancer.
1. Time Management Is Crucial
Time management is one of the most important factors which determine where your career will go. As a mother, you should be prepared to make a really extensive and comprehensive time schedule to ensure that your household chores and professional life as a freelancer do notmix up.
Put yourself on a time schedule. Find out what your peak productivity hours: whether you are a morning or evening person; when you will be sufficiently free to undertake freelance works; how much time you can invest in the project every day; and what not. While drafting a time schedule, be realistic and do not make over-ambitious goals.
Money is an important asset, but the desire to earn it should not dismantle your personal life.
2. Do Not Hesitate While Negotiating Your Rate
Mothers, especially those who are house-makers, are usually found to be hesitant during negotiations. They readily agree to work at any rate because they do not have any guidance and possess insufficient knowledge about market trends.
However, it is stressed that you should negotiate only after you have done thorough research.
Sometimes women do not negotiate despite knowing that the rate is very less. This results in the employer imagining them as desperate for work and making them work more than they should.
Confidence is what sells in the freelance industry, and one of the activities which give evidence of the same is negotiation. Be confident about what you ask for and be armed with facts to substantiate your claim—and nobody will be able to take undue advantage of you, and you will be treated sincerely.
3. Deadlines Do Not Wait For Anyone
Clients do not care what you are outside the freelance community; they are only concerned with work. Thus, for you, deadlines are extremely important.
We understand that being a mom is not easy: you have to carry out household duties, look after kids; and what not. However, when you have undertaken to do a job, you should do it like a professional.
You might negotiate with your clients on the basis of your household conditions, but do not expect them to be absolutely flexible about it.
It becomes important on your part to take as much work as you are able to handle. Whenever you sign up for a project, make sure you ask the client whether it is a one-time or a long-term project. Moreover, when you know you will not be able to meet the deadline, then you should immediately inform the client.
4. Work With Former Employers With Whom You Share Good Relationships
Flexible hours are important for working mothers, especially when they are new to the freelancing world. In case you have had former employers, who have been really good to you throughout employment, then you should consider asking them to give you freelance jobs.
Having someone you know employ you will benefit you immensely, as these persons will be more amenable to understanding your condition and might offer you a relaxed work environment.
In case you are new to the freelance industry but have, in knowledge, someone who has been working in the industry for quite some time, then you know who to ask for help.
Ask your freelancer friends to talk to their employers and get you some projects to work on. Working with someone you know will boost your confidence and offer you requisite guidance in handling freelance operations.
5. Be Mindful Of The Downfalls
You should be mindful of the downfalls of freelancing for making wise decisions. These are disadvantages which every freelancer goes through, and hence, you are not the only one.
Some of the downfalls are: no provision of social security; erratic payment schedule; scamming employers who exploit your hard work and run away without payment; giving up on your rights on intellectual property; bulk assignments fixed by a deadline; confusing tax laws regarding freelancers; excessive competition in the industry; and clients who are pushers and make you work day and night without sufficient pay.
Before you start freelancing, you should go through all these drawbacks extensively so that you can make a wise decision as to whether or not to go along with it.
Ask your freelancer friends about their experience and whether they should recommend freelancing. Gather enough feedback from people and literature so that you are best placed to undertake the evaluation.
If you have ascertained that you should freelance, then nothing should stop you. Accept these drawbacks as something beyond your control and give your all in this industry.
6. Erratic Payments In The Freelance Industry
While we have already noted this as a drawback in the previous sub-head, we would like to elaborate on it as it is quite a critical issue in the industry.
The freelance industry is known for many great things, but, at the same time, it is also known for a handful of bad things too. One thing about this industry which annoys even the most experienced freelancers is the erratic payment schedule.
You should not expect a regular flow of money in the industry. You might have signed up for a long-term project, but, on several occasions, you will find yourself pressing clients to pay you your money. Initially, it will irritate you immensely, but then you will come to accept the way of the freelancing world.
It is highly recommended that upon the submission of projects you should send periodic reminders to the client. Do not send them emails every hour or so, but be reasonable with the number of reminders you send. Tell them that you are a working mother and that your responsibilities are incredibly huge, and therefore, they should provide timely payments.
7. No Time For Home
While we keep stressing on the need to balance personal and professional life, there will be moments when this will not be possible. You should mentally prepare yourself for occasions, which will most certainly arrive, when you have to invest more time than you already were in your freelance jobs.
It becomes important for you to disclose your commitments to your family members so that they are able to fully understand your situation and not unreasonably pressurize you. Do not feel disappointed if you have not been able to devote as much time as you ordinarily were towards your kids and family.
Work on your time schedule, manage it efficiently and feel proud of what you are doing.
8. Exploit Freelance Websites
Gone are the days when we have to look up for jobs in yellow pages.
Start creating well-drafted profiles on various mainstream freelance websites which offer millions of work opportunities for all types of freelancers. Some examples of these websites include freelancer.com, guru.com,and worknhire.com.
These websites allow extensive customization to their users: you can update your portfolio, customize the search results in accordance with the type of job you are looking for, send applications along with proposals in a matter of few minutes, and earn feedback from clients.
Do not take lightly the benefits of these websites and make the best use of the same. Take help from an expert in case you are not sure as to how to go about creating a professional profile.
9. Wait For The Results
As noted already, the freelance industry is highly competitive and in order to excel in this industry, you need to keep trying. You should consider applying to a significant number of jobs of your liking and wait for the results. There might be moments when all your applications are rejected, but that should not stop you from applying for more jobs.
The one who perseveres actually wins the race in this industry—so keep trying until you succeed.