There’s a better way.
It’s called part-time freelancing. There are some definite advantages to beginning your freelancing career as a part-timer. We’ll share over 15 of those advantages in this post. If you freelance part-time, feel free to share your perspective in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like 10+ Signs That You’re Not Ready for Full-Time Freelancing or Part-Time Freelancing–Is It Worth It?.
Advantages of Freelancing Part-Time
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that freelancing has many benefits and some disadvantages. Fortunately, you can avoid some of the disadvantages of freelancing and still enjoy the benefits of freelancing. This is especially true if you’re just starting out as a freelancer.
Here are over 15 advantages of part-time freelancing:
- Steady income. One of the biggest struggles freelancers face is a variable income. One month you may earn a lot and the next month you may earn very little. As a part-time freelancer, you can keep your day job and maintain a steady income while freelancing in your spare time.
- Determine a business plan. There’s a lot of strategizing that goes into successful freelancing. You need to decide who you will market your freelancing services too, what your core business will be, and how much time and money you want to invest. Starting out part-time lets you try out various scenarios.
- Develop an online presence. A successful freelancer needs a strong online presence. Usually that means a blog, an online portfolio, and several social media accounts. It takes time to build an online presence. As a part-timer, you can develop that online presence before making a full-time freelancing commitment.
- Benefits. Freelancers do not get benefits through their employment. There is no employer-subsidized insurance or retirement plan for a freelancer. If benefits are important to you, you may be better off holding onto a traditional job and freelancing on the side.
- Allows for outside connections. Because most full-time freelancers work from home, they can fall into an almost hermit-like existence–rarely interacting with others in person. Part-time freelancers, however, are more likely to interact with others face-to-face.
- Paid days off. For a full-time freelancer a day off means a day when he or she is not paid. This can make it difficult to take a vacation or sick day. However, if you keep your traditional job and freelance in your spare time, you can get paid through your traditional job for the days you don’t work.
- Extra money. Even if you never want to become a full-time freelancer, part-time freelancing is a great way to earn extra money. Just be sure that you charge professional rates for your services if you want to be thought of as a professional in your field.
- Build savings. I always advise those who are considering freelancing to build up enough savings to cover several months of expenses before they go full-time. Starting out as a part-time freelancer gives you a chance to build up your emergency fund.
- Grow client base. As a part-time freelancer, you can build a strong client base and even cultivate a few repeat clients. Think how nice it will be to start freelancing full-time and already have some clients with projects you can work on.
- Polish skills. Part-time freelancing also gives you the chance to build your professional skills. As a part-timer, you can devote the necessary time to take courses and practice without worrying about compromising your only income.
- Build a portfolio. Many new freelancers struggle to get those first assignments–assignments that they will showcase in their portfolio. As a part-timer, you have more flexibility about getting those portfolio assignments. You can discount your services or even volunteer to get a portfolio piece.
- Get testimonials. Getting testimonials is another problem new freelancers face. As a part-time freelancer with another income, you have the option of the same pricing flexibility for getting testimonials that you had with getting portfolio pieces.
- Test the waters. Is there a market for your skillset? Is the market for your skillset overcrowded? If you’re not sure of the answers to those questions, part-time freelancing is a great way to test the waters. This is especially true if you don’t know of many freelancers who do what you’re planning to do.
- Easy to change your mind. If you start freelancing full-time and decide after a month or two that you don’t like freelancing after all, you may feel trapped. If you don’t continue freelancing, you may have no income coming in at all. Part-time freelancing gives you options.
Most of these reasons assume that you are combining part-time freelancing with a full or part-time job, but that may not always be the case:
- Ease back into the marketplace. If you have been out of the job market for a while (after a career change or unemployment) or if you are entering the job market for the first time (new graduates), part-time freelancing can be a great way to ease back into a work mentality.
- Bonus advantage: Need for greater flexibility. If you need to earn money while serving as the caretaker for a loved one or watching a young child, traditional jobs may not have the flexibility of hours and workplace location that you need. Part-time freelancing is a good alternative.
Are you a part-time freelancer? What benefits of part-time freelancing did I leave out?
Share your answers in the comments below.