Love a quiz? Here’s one that asks you if you are cut out for freelancing. But before taking this pop quiz, let me make a clear distinction of two terms you might have been interpreting as one and the same.
A freelancer is a self-employed professional who offers his or her services to one or more companies, often with no long-term commitment to any of them. A freelancer is also known as an independent contractor, a gig worker, an online platform worker, or a contract firm worker. Although others include the terms “on-call worker” and “temporary worker”, these two may not be self-employed.
On the other hand, a person who works full-time for a company but doesn’t have to be at a fixed office location everyday is called a remote worker.
Those terms could sometimes be used interchangeably and may be confusing to others who are not into the gig economy. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing more about these terms soon.
A few years ago, a student told me that he couldn’t see himself being self-employed, running his own business, and he just felt that way. He admitted that having a boss suits him well.
At first, I thought that was weird. For many years, people are made to believe that owning a business is the only way to get rich because of being one’s own boss. But stepping back to think, that student made me realize that not everyone is cut out to be self-employed or a freelancer.
Related article: Freelancing: A Reality Check
The 10 Questions
So how would you know if freelancing is for you? Below are ten questions with two choices of answer: (a) and (b). There are no right or wrong answers in this quiz. Your answers will just help you gauge if you have what it takes to become a freelancer.
Reflect on each question and be honest with yourself when answering. Let’s go through each item and see why this quiz matters when pursuing a freelance writing career:
1. How do you view the role of a boss?
Freelance writers are considered self-employed individuals. Thus, they think and act like a boss when conducting their freelance writing business and treat those who “employ” them as clients.
If you feel that you need someone telling you what to do most of the time, you may be like the student I mentioned earlier who prefers to be employed rather than striking it out as an independent contractor.
2. Are you prepared to go out and look for work?
Freelance writing jobs don’t just come in easy. Most of the time, freelancers look for work in all places. I started out looking for writing gigs from my connections and gradually increased my confidence in seeking assignments on my own from online platforms until I got referrals and inquiries.
3. Can you switch focus easily and without compromising quality?
This question is about how you deal with multiple assignments. Since freelance writing jobs can come to you all at the same time, you should have that ability to switch focus easily without compromising your quality of work. This requires time management and self-discipline.
Related article: Is the Pomodoro Technique For You?
4. Can you advertise yourself?
This quiz question is about your own confidence to promote yourself as a freelance writer. There are many writers out there — some have already earned their reputation while others are still creating a name of their own. That’s why it pays to have a website that serves as a portfolio so you can establish yourself as a freelance writer.
Related article: 6 Reasons Why You Should Have a Website
5. Do you live paycheck to paycheck?
While it’s common among struggling artists to live paycheck to paycheck, it is better for a freelance writer to have enough funds for the rainy days. Most financial experts advise that you should have cash at least equivalent to three months’ salary on hand before entering freelancing.
6. Are you prepared for all the admin work?
Since freelance writers are self-employed, then all the admin work that goes into running your own business should be handled by you. That includes business registrations and processing of necessary licenses and permits. Not only that, you have to learn a little bit of bookkeeping to record financial matters.
7. Do you do what you say without excuses?
The seventh question is about your attitude towards work. Do you do what you really promise? A former advertising executive once told me about “under-promise, over-deliver”. It means that it would be better for you to set low expectations but deliver much more than what is expected than vice-versa.
8. Do criticisms affect you?
In freelancing, feedback is almost instantaneous and it comes from all sides. Thus, freelance writers should be thick-skinned not to be affected by harsh criticisms or at least know how to filter them.
9. Can you deal with the small details?
This is about follow-through. Freelance writers are creatives that are more into the ‘big picture’ way of thinking but can also be into the nitty-gritty details if they want to. Balance these two and you’re sure to get the projects done.
10. Do you have a good network in your industry?
To be successful in freelance writing, one should nurture relationships despite the “politics” of it. In fact, to start your freelance writing business, you have to start with what you have right now — family members, relatives, and a few friends or acquaintances. Soon, you’ll be able to grow your network, if you maintain to be professionally sociable.
How Well Did You Do?
Now count the number of (a)’s and (b)’s you’ve answered. If you answer (b) on all or most of the questions, well done! You’re ready to be a freelancer and freelancing suits you well.
However, don’t worry if your answers are mostly (a). It means you have more opportunities for improvement. Think of them as challenges that you could address and overcome gradually. Answering more (a)’s than (b)’s doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider striking out on your own. It just means that you have more prep work to do.
After answering this quiz, you already have an idea on your own readiness to embark a freelance writing career.
Let me know how well did you do on this quiz. If I have missed anything, I’d appreciate your feedback. And if you like to read more about freelance writing, productivity, or creative writing, please do subscribe to my quarterly newsletter and join the tribe. Also, I now have a YouTube channel called Open Notes. Go check it out.