Freelance jobs have become an option for many since the Covid19 pandemic hit. Many lost work and found new freelance opportunities in Singapore. Perhaps, it could also be the uncertainties faced during those times that triggered the desire to take control of their financial future by finding freelance jobs from home.
Moreover, technology and the many resources over the internet made it easy for many freelancers to succeed. Today, it continues to be a growing industry, and recent years have shown us that the freelance jobs trend is here to stay and could well be the future of work.
If you consider getting into freelancing and don’t know where to begin, then this guide might help you.
What are the Pros and Cons of Working Freelance?
Many of those who want to pursue freelance jobs think that they can achieve a better work-life balance with this setup. And true to it, many freelancers were able to achieve this balance. Many were also able to reach their financial goals while doing what they do best through freelancing.
But before you make that decision to jump into freelancing or the gig economy, you should generally understand what to expect and the pros and cons that freelance jobs come with.
Pros of Freelancing
1. Being a digital nomad
With freelancing, you can work from anywhere and everywhere as you are not required to work in a specific location. This gives you the option of getting your work done on travel or in another country.
Freelancing frees you from the need for daily office commute and clocking in and out for a 9-to-5 duty. This freedom saves you from costly transportation expenses and gives you more time to do more things.
2. Flexible working hours
Unlike full-time employment, you don’t need to stick to a straight eight-hour shift. Instead, you get the chance to work on a flexible schedule where you can pause when you need to or take a break anytime you feel like having one. You can also take charge of all decisions and choices – workload and dress code included!
3. Unlimited vacation days
Provided that you have advised your clients beforehand and ensured to complete your tasks accordingly, when you are a freelancer, you can choose your workload, projects, and when to go on vacation.
4. Earn more
Because clients pay you on a per-project basis, you can get as much work as you can handle. Over time, you can even get more offers and price it higher as you improve your craft. Given the flexibility of freelancing, some clients also give freelancers bonuses and commissions.
5. No office politics
Freelancing, compared to a traditional work set-up, entails a greater degree of independence. This entails having to deal with office politics much less frequently, if not seldom or never.
6. You learn more
Freelancing broadens your learning horizons as not all experiences are the same and may bring new challenges. As a freelancer, you learn from each unique experience and learn to solve problems independently.
Love the idea of having your own business? Check out our guide to home based business in Singapore.
Cons of Freelancing
1. Earnings will depend on your workload
While there could be months where you are loaded with work, there could be months where work is little to none. To find constant gigs, you’ll need to widen your network and be updated on job boards.
2. Limited benefits
Freelance jobs may offer limited benefits with regards to paid vacation leaves, HMO, and mandated bonuses. Thus, you may have to set aside a part of your income for vacation and medical expenses.
However, you could also find generous clients who give bonuses and companies who give 13th month bonuses to their full-time freelance employees.
3. Working alone
When you are a freelancer, you usually work independently. You don’t have anyone to remind you of your duties and deadlines. While this may be hard to do, there are a lot of project management apps that you can use to organize your work and schedule.
Is Working Freelance For You?
Being your boss, working your hours, and working in the comfort of your own home, are top reasons one would want to get into freelancing. If you can identify with these reasons, freelancing could be an option.
Still, some factors may determine if freelancing could be the right fit for you. Thus, you should
1. Know that building your portfolio is a must!
As a beginner, you may not have a solid portfolio yet. But, you can do ways to build this if you want to pursue a freelance job. You need to upskill and earn certificates from various pieces of training and workshops to do this.
2. Be open to the idea of widening your network.
One way to get a continuous flow of work in freelancing is by widening your network. You can join communities that share and support freelance work.
3. Know how to keep multiple deadlines.
Keeping clients happy is one major factor in freelancing, and one way to do this is by meeting deadlines. Your reputation depends on this. Thus, even if you have multiple deadlines, you must keep in mind that you always have to deliver on time as the client’s business may be at stake.
4. Be passionate about constant learning.
Freelancing involves a lot of learning to keep your skills sharp. You need to find venues where you can enhance this, and it can be through paid seminars and other online community training.
5. Communicate well and communicate your value.
Freelancers get good projects by communicating well what they can offer your client and the value they deserve for that skill.
Before considering freelance work right out of college. Check out our financial planning tips.
4 Best Sites to Find Freelance Jobs in Singapore
Earning from home as a freelancer is one of the easiest ways to make money. Especially if you already have the skills to start. Moreover, you can find freelance opportunities everywhere, and you just need to know where to look for them.
Whether you search for a part-time gig or a full-time freelance job in Singapore, here are some best sites to consider
Upwork is one of the most popular sites to build your profile and search for freelance jobs. It has over 5 million businesses across 12 categories, providing freelancers access to a wide range of jobs, including the biggest names in the industry.
The platform has convenient features like
- Targeted job search options
- Payment protection
- Chat, and call with the client
- Project management tool.
Another great thing about Upwork is that all tests for a job application are paid. Thus, no time and effort from the freelancer are wasted. When it comes to fees, Upwork incentivizes its freelancers with this structure:
- 20% for the first S$500 earned
- 10% for earnings that range between S$500 to S$10,000
- 5% for incomes above S$10,000
Upwork also has a unique badge system to reward top-rated freelancers and allow them to view jobs firsthand.
Another popular platform that offers more jobs for freelancers is Fiverr. It is like a directory of freelancers offering their services, and its database boasts of 3 million gigs across eight main categories that include
- Graphics and Design
- Digital Marketing
- Writing and Translation
- Video and Animation
- Music and Audio
- Programming and Tech
Fiverr is an ideal place for beginners who want to offer their services for a low cost starting at S$5 to build their portfolios. Depending on the job type, freelancers can offer their services, “Gig” in Fiverr terms, for as low as S$5 to as high as S$10,000.
Like Upwork, Fiverr also lists big names in the industry like P&G, Google, Netflix, and many more. They also have a payment system where you can quickly withdraw your earnings. As for the fee, freelancers are charged 20% as Fiverr commission for the jobs they complete.
Glance is Singapore’s leading platform to connect skilled individuals to employers needing all types of digital services. It boasts an easy-to-use platform that will make job searching fast and hassle-free for beginners.
While Glance has only been on the scene for a few years than its competitors, it already has a wide range of connections in the following categories
- Digital Marketing
- Business Solutions
- Web and Programming
- Visual and Audio Creatives
So, if your skills are within these categories, say you are a web developer or a graphic artist, then you may try Glance and monetize your skills in no time.
MyCareersFuture is an online job portal explicitly made for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Workforce Singapore, an operating branch of the Ministry of Manpower runs the site and makes sure that all available jobs in Singapore are listed here, including freelance jobs.
One unique thing about this site is that you can contact career coaches anytime. This feature is beneficial for beginners who don’t know where to start. These career coaches provide career counseling, help prepare you for interviews, and guide you through the whole hiring process.
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Some job seekers may still resort to other platforms like MyCareersFuture, Supreme Hr Advisory Pte. Ltd, and others if they are looking for traditional on-site jobs.
More and more professionals are shifting from a traditional 9-to-5 job to the more flexible option of finding freelance jobs. Moreover, businesses nowadays demand more and thus look for talent on popular freelance platforms like those mentioned. So, if you already have a marketable skill, a laptop or computer, good internet, and a passion for work, you’re ready to give it a go.
- The earning potential in freelancing can exceed that of a traditional job once you establish yourself.
- Freelancing is taking control of your career 100%.
- Building an in-demand skill is the key to finding success in freelance.
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