There could be a lot of reasons why you would freelance and work a full-time job at the same time. You could be exploring the possibility of becoming a full-time freelancer, but need to maintain an income to get started. Perhaps your freelance work has dwindled and you need to bring in a steady income once more?
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of people out there who are juggling freelance work and a full-time job at the same time. It’s more than possible with the right approach and time management, but you just need to make sure you’re prepared.
Explore some top tips for juggling freelance alongside a full-time job to help you enjoy the best of both worlds.
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Work out what’s possible (and be realistic!)
The thought of two jobs sounds great – two streams of income! But when you take on freelance work, you’re taking on extra hours, and that’s something you need to be prepared for.
Even a 10 hour a week contract would be an extra two hours a day, Monday-Friday. If you’re already working an 8 or 9 hour day, you’re going to be spending nearly half your day in work! Spend time working out how long you are willing to dedicate to your freelance work, without sacrificing too much of your evenings and weekends.
Try casual contracts first
When you first try your hand at freelancing, try engaging in casual contracts first. You can find casual freelance work via websites like Upwork and People Per Hour to help you get a feel for it. From there, you can start marketing your freelance services to build up some regular clients. By going in casually, you can see just how easy or difficult it is to fit in your work around your job without committing to anything long-term too soon.
Find a job that provides flexibility
If freelancing is something you really want to do, then your regular job needs to provide you with the flexibility to do that. This could mean looking for a different job, changing your hours, etc. You should explore 360 recruitment solutions, as finding these types of recruiters could help place you in your ideal role. Finding a job you can do in harmony with your full-time job will help you manage both much easier.
Get into a good routine
Working freelance and full-time is no easy feat. You need to be very disciplined, and be able to work more productively. For some people, getting up earlier in the morning to tackle freelance work is a good way to start the day – it’s out of the way before you start your other job, and your evenings become yours. Find out what works for you and when you are able to work your best and most efficiently. Once you’ve found a routine, things will soon start to feel normal.
Establish a balance
More than ever, you need to work on finding a work/life balance. When more work eats in your personal life, it can take some adjusting. Create schedules to help you manage work, and make sure you leave enough time for yourself. It’s important to make plans with friends and family and to take time to do the things you enjoy. You also need to make sure you stay healthy – especially if you’re working from home.
If you find that you’re tired all the time, unproductive, miserable and run down – it could be a sign that things aren’t working out. Re-evaluate and make some changes to help you put yourself first, even if it means that something’s got to give.
Stay on top of your income
When you work as a freelancer, you still need to pay tax, even if you pay tax on a full-time job. You’ll need to file a self-assessment claim annually, and this is something you need to prepare for. Set aside some of your income each month to cover your tax bill, and consider working with an accountant to take care of things on your behalf. Earning additional income is great, but you don’t want to be left with a huge tax bill that you can’t afford.
Freelancing has a lot of benefits, and it can be a good way to make use of the skills and creativity you might not get to use day to day. If you’re going to try it alongside a full-time job, be sure to do your research so you know what you’re getting into. Start off slow until you find your flow and things will slot into place.