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What You Should Know Before Starting a Freelance Career

If you’re ready to quit the corporate life and say goodbye to the 9-5 structure for good, there are a few things you should know before diving in. For example, do you have a good handle on what your taxes will look like as a freelancer? Do you have a robust savings account? If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions, keep reading for our tips on how to create a prosperous freelance career.

Get your home office situated

Look, we get it – the dream of working in your pajamas is a serious perk for many millennials in the US. After all, who wouldn’t want to work while dressed in the comfiest outfit they own? We don’t recommend working in your PJs, however. Research has suggested that wearing proper work clothing actually improves your productivity.

With that said, you’re going to need a lot more than just a work-worthy outfit to get you in the right mindset for working at home. Here are some essential items you need for a productive work-from-home setup:

  • Desk: Keep your desk minimalist but make sure it has plenty of room for you to spread out. You don’t want to feel cramped and stressed – after all, that defeats the purpose of working from home. If you can spring for one, a standing desk is a great option so you can avoid the ill health effects from prolonged sitting. Add a balance board for even more calorie-torching!
  • Technology: Your 10-year old PC just isn’t going to cut it when you have tight deadlines and clients waiting impatiently for their documents to come in. So, invest in flexible technology that works for you, like the HP Elitebook x360.
  • Plants: Add some greenery to your desk for a calming touch – and maybe even a little more oxygen.
  • Minimalism: Clutter doesn’t benefit anyone, and it certainly doesn’t help you increase your productivity. Make sure you keep your desk clear of any messes so you can think clearly without anything distracting you from the task at hand.
  • Dual monitors: Don’t keep squinting at your single laptop screen. Double your screen real estate and productivity with a second display so you’ll have plenty of space to look at multiple windows at once.
  • A great desk chair: If you decide to go for a traditional desk instead of a standing desk, an ergonomic chair is an absolute must.
  • A space dedicated to work: All great freelancers have one thing in common – a space set aside for work. Don’t be tempted to work from bed because realistically, you’re not going to get as much done in the comfort of your feather-down comforter than you would while alert and sitting at a desk. Even if you live in a studio, dedicate a corner of your room to working and keep it that way.

Keep your finances straight

Even though hiring an accountant would be an additional expense you add to your end-of-the-year bill, it’s a worthwhile investment. Doing your taxes as a freelancer can be both complex and expensive. You can save yourself time and money by hiring a finance professional to help you along the way so you don’t get in trouble with Uncle Sam.

There are also several apps you can use as a freelancer to keep track of your receipts and expenses to stay organized.

Don’t rest on your laurels and keep your eyes open for new clients

As a freelancer, your work is likely to come in ebbs and flows. Some months, you might barely be able to keep on top of all of your tasks. Then there will be other months where you struggle to get any assignments. This is why it’s important to keep up a robust savings account – you should ideally have at least one month’s salary locked away in a savings account for those times when work is hard to come by. And, to avoid a lack of work, spend time outside of your normal working hours looking for clients and other jobs.

Attend meetups for professionals in your industry to meet with other freelancers and potential clients.

Takeaways

The freelancing life can be an amazing experience for those who are ready for it. And with a little preparation, you can make the freelancing life work for you.