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10 top challenges in taking-up freelancing as a career

Created on 19 Apr 2019

Wraps up in 4 Min

Read by 2.9k people

Updated on 13 Sep 2023

Of course, freelancing is very rewarding and comforting in every way. The comfort of home to work from and the freedom to work at the desired pace is forcing more and more people to turn themselves into freelancers. There is an ever-increasing demand for freelancers amounting to a significant increase in the workforce. But, as there is a flip side to every coin, so does freelancing comes with its own cost.
Here, are a list of challenges that a freelancer faces in his freelancing career:
1.    Hunting for a good client: The biggest problem in freelancing is to look for reliable well-paying clients. Though you would get multiple job openings on platforms like Naukri, Times, Monster, freelancer.com, upwork.com, etc., yet, it gets challenging to zero down on the right clients.

2.    Getting noticed: Once you have narrowed down on the freelance openings floating around, the second most significant challenge is to get noticed. 

For getting noticed, you need to design a compelling pitch to grab the employer’s attention. Your gig has to have an application letter along with your work details to be able to qualify amongst thousands of other applicants. The application letter has to be re-designed each time looking at the job/project specifications put up by the company. As a freelancer, you need to highlight your skills and talents to match the desired job specifications for each client.

One of the other challenges in getting noticed is to bid with a competitive price range as if you bid a higher value then your gig proposal often gets overlooked due to the crazy competition out there.

3.    Payment concerns: Though most well-known firms are delighted to pay their freelancers on time, yet, there are another bunch of companies which follow monthly salary cycles even for freelancers. This gets a little inconvenient considering you are associated on a contractual or temporary basis.

4.    Juggle with new projects: Freelancing comes with high comfort of working from anywhere and at any time, yet it is quite demanding in many ways. You have to mould yourself as a professional to every new project or work that you take up. Though the nature of work may remain the same, yet, the requirements and deliverables for each client vary drastically. 

So, you have to be extremely good with change management, and you need to have the right grasping and flexibility to get molded into the work commitments of multiple clients at the same time.

5.    Time management: When you work with multiple clients, you have to manage the expected deliverables in the desired timelines for each of your clients. It is not so easy as it looks at the face of it. The challenge lies in being mindful of schedules of each of your clients. And, you have to fit in to meet the expected deadlines each time.

6.    Staying motivated: While working from the comfort of home, you miss the discipline and motivating work ambiance at the office. If you juggle between handling kids, family commitments, social commitments, social media distractions, etc., you may sometimes find it challenging to stay motivated to finish your work from home.

Moreover, the lack of competition and interaction with other professionals, bring in a lot of boredom in you. So, you need to figure out ways to handle boredom and stay enthusiastic about turning in work as demanded.

7.    Self-growth: As a freelancer, the entire onus of developing your skills and upgrading your talent, is on you. You have to be proactive to update your skills now and then. Once upgraded, you also need to learn to market your newly added skills well to grab the monetary increments.

While in a typical professional job, the company upgrades your skills and talent free of cost, by providing you with numerous training opportunities on the job.

8.    Betrayal: At times, as a freelancer, you end up working with mediators or contractors. These people connect employers with the freelance workforce. Unfortunately, your money is at stake when you work with middlemen who pose to be genuine. The laws and regulations about freelancing are still at a nascent stage of development in India. So, there are plenty of instances where freelancers have been betrayed, and nothing is paid against the hard work that they have put in for weeks together. 

Thus, you need to watchful of who you are choosing to work with. It is always great to register yourself on well-recognized platforms with verified and reliable employers. Alternatively, it is wise to work with well-established known brands who are entirely fair to freelancers. 

Career Stability: Your income as a freelancer varies each month depending on the projects in hand. As you keep moving from one project to another, the remuneration also keeps changing depending on the skill set required and the payment terms and conditions offered. At times, when your project gets over, you have to hunt rigorously to find another. The income keeps going up and down depending on work in hand.

Rewards and Recognition: rewards and recognition are limited to each of your client’s feedback. You don’t get any bonuses, hikes or perks in most freelancing assignments. Though, you are free to negotiate for the same with your clients. 
In a regular job, when your efforts are recognized and appreciated, then it is done in front of the entire organization. It raises your confidence and makes you feel valued and cared for. But, this kind of scenario is usually missing in freelancing. Here, the appreciations and recognitions are just kept between you and your client.

These are the challenges faced by a freelancer while working on different assignments. But, whatever said and done, when you weigh the benefits of freelancing with its growth hacks, the former outweighs the latter for sure. Freelancing has plenty of benefits to offer as the freedom it brings with it is incredibly precious.

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