Career Advice

4 Mistakes To Avoid In Your First Year Of Freelancing

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Freelancing may appear as an ideal career path on the surface, and in many respects, it is! Freelancing affords the liberty and autonomy that are often elusive in traditional employment. It empowers you to be your own boss, dictating your working hours and daily tasks. Need a half-day for your child’s doctor appointment? No issue! Fancy starting an hour late? As long as your tasks are accomplished, no one is going to rebuke you. Plus, the flexibility to take a day off or go on vacation is at your discretion.

However, a freelancing career does come with certain challenges. The initial year can pose a steep learning curve, and if you fall prey to any common mistakes, it might become significantly more challenging to establish a prosperous career and reap the rewards of a freelancer’s life.

Doing all your work from home

At first, working from home feels amazing. What could be more satisfying than enjoying a leisurely coffee while frenzied commuters scramble to their workplaces on the street below? However, the home is not always the most conducive environment to productivity. Clutter, chores, and the allure of the TV can all distract you from your work. And the less work you get done, the less income you’ll enjoy. Instead of doing all your work from home, you may want to look into a workspace that offers hotdesking facilities like those at You may find that your productivity and output eclipse the expense of the facilities themselves.  


This is a cardinal sin of which all freelancers are guilty at some point in their careers. In their zeal to establish themselves, they can tend to bite off more than they can chew. Not only does this result in long and miserable working days, the quality of their work inevitably suffers. This can make it harder to establish a glowing reputation- the kind that leads to regular referrals by happy clients. 

Not Having a Resume

There are several differences between freelancing and the traditional full-time job. Freelancing has its share of benefits, including working in your sweatpants, but sometimes it can create confusion, especially when trying to land your fast freelance gig. How does it work? What do I need to secure a project? Do I need a resume? If you’re a newbie freelancer, then you’ve most likely asked yourself the last question.

While you do not necessarily need a resume to become a freelancer, having one won’t hurt. When you’re running your own freelance business, examples demonstrating your experience, success, and previous references will be more important. However, a resume will be a great addition when bidding on a job with a large organization. To use your resume as a tool to attract more clients, avoid some of the common mistakes people make on their CVs.

Charging less than you’re worth

When you’re first starting out, you may assume that the only way to get ahead in freelancing is by undercutting your competitors on price. But this is a fallacy that can make it extremely hard to become profitable in the future. Clients will expect consistently good quality work at low pay, meaning you have to work harder and for longer hours while still making less. And you won’t want to risk alienating them by increasing your prices. Do yourself a favor and charge what you’re worth. 

Stepping into the world of freelancing? Dodge early pitfalls and set the stage for success. Learn what mistakes to avoid in your first year! #FreelancingTips #CareerSuccessClick To Tweet

Taking your clients for granted

Finally, while you should never be afraid to drop a bad client (especially one who doesn’t settle their invoices on time), you should also never take the good ones for granted. Make sure you’re doing all that you can to keep them happy and that they get good value for money. You also need to consider that sometimes clients may need to drop you for reasons that have nothing to do with your work (restructuring, for instance). This is why you need to maintain your online visibility and keep hustling for new work at all times.

Freelance to Freedom: The Roadmap
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Freelance to Freedom is the book on how individuals can reconstruct their life to create financial and time freedom.

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05/22/2024 06:10 pm GMT

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