Updated: October 7, 2020
Having a day job creates an illusion of financial security for most people. It’s easy to get stuck inside this comfort zone because the money comes at a regular schedule.
However, there’s a quote I like that says, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”
Indeed, when you don’t challenge yourself and don’t strive to grow beyond who you are, then you’ll end up drifting through life. Years will pass and one day, you’ll wonder what notable achievements have you accomplished in your life.
Thus, enter the world of freelancing. What used to be a career path reserved only for those who don’t like the corporate world, is now an opportunity that everyone can afford to pursue – even to those who are employed.
Here are four reasons why you should do freelancing on the side, even if you have a day job.
1. It is a learning opportunity.
Your work will help you develop the skills you need to perform your job well. But freelancing will open up learning opportunities for you beyond what employees need.
You’ll have stronger motivation to develop skills in personal finance, business management, and productivity. And you’ll also become better at the specific skills linked to the services you’ll offer as a freelancer.
Moreover, part of running your own freelance business is the adrenaline rush associated with risks and dealing with clients. You’re constantly making decisions and that allows you to learn a variety of different skills.
You’ll become interested in learning about marketing, networking, organizational planning, and negotiation strategies, among other things. And knowing these will certainly be useful in other aspects of your life, other than freelancing.
2. It opens new career opportunities.
As you acquire new skills in your freelancing endeavors, you can discover new career opportunities. If you have the talent or are willing to learn, a freelance venture can help open new doors with new companies or entire industries.
I know a handful of people who never worked a formal day in their life in sales and marketing. But because their freelance writing jobs required them to know about copywriting and even social media management, they eventually found lucrative careers in digital marketing and advertising.
3. It’s an additional source of income.
Of course, one of the most obvious benefits of becoming a freelancer is earning extra income for yourself and your family.
It adds a layer of financial security, and it can be your safety net in case you suddenly lose your job. Building a freelance career on the side while employed can ensure that if you do get laid off, you’re not stuck without a plan.
You’ll have existing clients and hopefully, be in a place where you can ramp up your freelance business to either keep at it full time or hold you over until you find new full-time employment within another company.
4. It helps you discover your true passion.
Whenever someone asks me how to become a freelancer, I always tell them that the first step is to find the answer to the question:
“What do I love doing that people will be willing to pay for?”
You will be doing your freelance activities during your free time, especially on weekends. That’s why you must choose to do something that excites you, something that you’re really passionate about.
It can take some time before you discover what type of freelancer you want to be. So just keep trying. And eventually, you’ll find your true passion and build your success doing what you love.
When you feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job, freelancing can be your door out of the office cubicle. So give it a try.
And to make sure that you’ll have a safe and secure way to get paid, especially for online transactions, then I recommend that you sign up for PayPal today.
Disclosure: The author is a PayPal Philippines freelancer mentor. This post is part of a campaign to engage and grow the Filipino freelance community.