I spent the first three years of my adult life as a freelancer. I loved the idea of designing graphics, but I did not receive formal training for it, so I assumed the only way that I could find clients who would trust me were the ones who wanted online workers.
During those three years, I instantly figured out why most people did not even want to try freelancing. It was not always because of the difficulty of making money through it. That’s honestly a fallacy, considering clients were willing to pay as much money as regular workers get, sometimes more. A more fitting reason is that freelancers’ mental health tends to suffer, especially when they come across awful projects with worse clients.
Here’s how freelancers can look after their mental health.
Know Your Value
From the get-go, you need to realize how valuable your skillset is to a particular industry. That will allow you to set a decent rate for your services instead of letting the client pay peanuts.
For instance, since I had a profound scientific background, medical website owners wanted me to write articles and textbooks for them. Another friend of mine had an MBA, so companies needed him to conduct business reports and analyses. Thus, neither of us agreed to take on the job until we got our desired salary.
Avoid Accepting Every Job Offer
A typical error in new freelancers’ mindset is that they think it is essential to accept every job offer that comes their way. They tend to oversee the fact that some of them are from vulture-like individuals who want high-quality output but don’t want to pay fairly. Some say, “Newbies can’t be choosy.”
Well, I get that such workers want to do everything to jumpstart their career in the freelancing world. I also did the same when I was new, to the extent that I juggled three clients at once and barely had time to eat and sleep. However, doing so could reduce your work quality or, worse, make you feel unhappy in the end.
From one freelancer to another, you need to realize that not every job opportunity out there is a catch. Sometimes, it is better to apply for the projects you like than to accept whatever job that’s available.
Leave Troublesome Clients Behind
Let’s say that you already got your dream project in the bag. The client was willing to pay you a handsome amount every month, and you did not need to clock in hours as long as you delivered the output on time. However, if someone messed up, they loved scolding and embarrassing the employee in a group chat whenever they messed up.
Even in the freelance business, anyone can experience work bullying. Witnessing that happen to a co-worker entails that you may find yourself in their shoes sooner or later.
You need not go through such a heart-aching experience, so you should leave troublesome clients behind. Otherwise, you will risk losing your interest in the job you love because of someone’s power-tripping habit.
Change Things Up If Need Be
Whoever said that multitasking is not recommendable – not even for freelancers – is only 50% correct. While it is true that not everyone can handle two or more projects at a time, some people need that variety to avoid going crazy. Doing a single task all day every day makes them feel dull and sad, to the extent that they ditch the freelance job and look for an office-based work.
So, if you feel like changing things up and get part-time jobs, go for it. It is not against the law to do that, you know. As long as you can fulfill your roles in every project without a hitch, you can multitask.
Establish A Rest Day Or Two
Another thing that causes mental health problems among freelancers is their inability to get a full rest day or two. Since doing a freelance job does not always mean that you have set working hours or sometimes even a fixed salary, you may want to be available for as many hours as possible every day. Or, your goal is to earn a lot of money quickly, so you almost don’t sleep anymore while trying to complete multiple tasks daily.
By doing either, you must understand that you will see yourself burning out in no time. It is as if you have willingly gone into a small box and asked people to avoid helping you – there is no breathing room at all. You need to allocate 24 to 48 hours of your entire week to rest so that your mind and body can recuperate after subjecting both to too much stress.
Being a freelancer is one of the most exciting roles you can ever play in this lifetime. But before you start taking on a job, you should know what your skill set is worth so that clients will never be able to scam you.