According to a recent worldwide study of nearly 60,000 employees at over 1,600 companies, job satisfaction is at a three-year low. Factors like unfair treatment, inconsistent pay, unpopular return-to-office policies, a lack of meaning, and global economic uncertainty are all making workers more unhappy than they were during the pandemic.
The good news is that if you’re dissatisfied with your own career, you may have a unique opportunity to make a change. Low unemployment rates and evolving attitudes about how, where, and why we work have forced many companies to look beyond their traditional hiring pools. And with the rise of remote work, it’s easy to test drive a new job to see if it will improve your Return on Life. Just run through this quick checklist to see if you’re ready to give freelancing a try.
1. You want more freedom to work and earn.
By and large, freelancers have the flexibility to set their own hours and choose the projects they want to work on. Once you and your clients have established deadlines on deliverables, you’ll likely be free to complete tasks on your own schedule. Knocking out a couple projects in the evening or on the weekends can let you try out different kinds of work without committing to a full-on career change –while earning a little extra money on the side as well. And if things go well, your earning potential is only limited to how much work you can and want to do.
2. You have your own tech stack.
While more and more companies have opened up to the idea of working with freelancers, early adopters and skeptics alike want the same thing: reliability. You’re not going to shore up much repeat business if your Zoom calls keep cutting out because the local coffee shop has slow wifi, or if your home computer can’t render the 4K video your clients need. Even if you’re only freelancing part time to start, your clients expect and deserve top-notch work. And if you do commit to freelancing, many of the upgrades you make to professionalize your workflow could be tax deductible.
3. You know your clients and how to find them.
Any successful business understands who their ideal clients are and how to find them. Freelancers should have that same level of focus, whether you’re searching general work sites like Indeed or LinkedIn or specialized sites like Fiverr. Not only will knowing your ideal client help you develop your niche and your branding, but you’ll also be more likely to find clients whom you’ll enjoy working with. Those kinds of connections — combined with exceptional work — can create lasting professional networks that generate both repeat business and referrals.
4. You’re financially prepared to make a change.
The flexibility that freelancing can allow you does come with some costs. Transitioning to full-time freelance work could lower your income until you establish a consistent client base. You’ll also lose access to your current investment benefits, such as an employer-match 401(k). Unless you can jump on a working spouse’s health care plan, you’ll have to start paying for insurance out of pocket, either via COBRA or your state’s marketplace. And once the newness of being your own boss wears off, you might start to miss the structure and camaraderie of a more traditional job and work environment.
However, if you have the support of a solid financial plan, freelancing could also lead to you establishing your own business or networking your way to a fulfilling job at a company more aligned to your personal and professional goals. Let’s meet to see where a career change could fit onto your $Lifeline and how our Life Centered Planning Process can help you get more out of work than just money.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC, Advisory services may be offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, or IFG Advisory, LLC., a registered investment advisor. Integrated Financial Group and IFG Advisory, LLC. are separate entities from LPL Financial. This article was prepared for Paul Peeler’s use.