Home – New Forums New here? Share your story Freelancing and flexibility

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  • #997381
    Overleaf
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    Hi everyone,

    I’ve just joined the forums as they seem like a great resource! I’m a freelance proofreader and copy-editor, mainly working in academia. I’ve been in this business for several years and have generally been able to make it work to pay the bills.

    While I enjoy the work, and get good feedback from clients, I mainly use freelancing as a flexible way to support other interests that I’m hoping to eventually turn into a career in their own right.

    Is anyone else taking that approach, using the freedom of freelance work, of whatever kind, to pursue something they’re perhaps more passionate about?

    I’d be really keen to hear about others’ experiences, as most of my friends have more traditional jobs!

    #1211801
    Ross Forrester
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    Hey [USER=101339]@Overleaf[/USER]

    Welcome. I started out sort of similar to yourself. And loneliness was a big issue.

    Hope you enjoy the forum.

    #1211802
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Hi Overleaf,

    I think a lot of freelancers (and solo business owners) have a core offering that pays the bills while they work on other passion projects, side businesses or ideas that they hope to turn into a full time thing. Ideally the business and passion can be one in the same!

    One common example is for service providers like you who charge for their time by the hour will often be looking for other revenue streams that can make money without being limited by time spent. ‘Passive income’ is the dream, but more realistically it’s some sort of recurring revenue stream or scalable product or solution.

    The ‘portfolio’ career, where people have a collection of different revenue streams is also becoming more prevalent.

    Thanks for joining the forums and we look forward to hearing how things go!

    Cheers, Peter

    #1211803
    bb1
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    You could say that’s how my business started, it was to fill a gap after leaving a long term full time job, and I needed the flexibility to care for my then 6 and 8 year old children, so wanted a job to fit around school, illness, etc. It got to the point very quickly though where it became a full time job, but I educated my clients to understand that my primary job was as a parent, and they would have to wait if my children needed my attention.

    So you could treat your freelancing in a similar manner

    #1211804
    Overleaf
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    Thanks guys, that’s really helpful (and encouraging)!

    The idea of the ‘portfolio career’ is particularly interesting, and not one I’d come across before – except in the literal sense used by artists.

    [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] – that’s an excellent point about educating clients. Did you find that most were fairly accepting of your other commitments, or did a percentage of them baulk at it?

    #1211805
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Hi Overleaf,

    When I started freelance copywriting, I was fortunate enough to get offered a couple of days a week working for an agency which helped provide a reliable income while building up other clients. Like Bert, this was also flexible around young children.

    You really can educate clients on your availability. It’s easier said than done, but if you set boundaries and stick to them yourself people soon get the idea. These days I don’t think you even need to explain yourself too much, as long as you communicate well with people as to when things will happen.

    Cheers, Peter

    #1211806
    bb1
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    Overleaf, post: 252877, member: 101339 wrote:
    [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] – that’s an excellent point about educating clients. Did you find that most were fairly accepting of your other commitments, or did a percentage of them baulk at it?

    [USER=101339]@Overleaf[/USER] 97% of my clients fully understood my situation, and even got to the point at school holidays of them asking me if I didn’t want to come, all it took was to let them know my situation, and make sure if an unusual event (ie illness) came up I let them know ASAP. Just keep good communications with your clients, and really that’s an imperative if its a situation such as mine or just a normal operating business.

    Strangely enough the 3% who didn’t understand all came from the one profession, and I would just fire them if they became an issue. I now no longer take school teachers as clients. Simple solution.

    #1211807
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Hi [USER=101339]@Overleaf[/USER], I started freelancing to pay the bills, but always found it difficult to focus on this work and advance my projects at the same time. It’s meant that I’ve often lost sight of my original goals and interests for periods of time.

    Dave

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