While the number of people moving into independent consulting or freelancing continues grow, turning technical communication freelancing into a full-time career comes with challenges and risks. It is after all, managing a small business, even if the business employs only one professional.
Last week’s poll looked at the reasons why technical communicators choose to go out on their own. This week’s poll looks at the challenges and risks associated with success in freelancing. Some freelancing challenges are more internal–dealing with distractions in a solitary work environment, maintaining self-discipline, staying motivated, etc. These are the kind of challenges Andrea Altenburg discussed in her “Technical Communication Captive to Freelancing Consultant” article last week. However, employees, whether they commute to a cubicle or work from home, face a lot of the same challenges.
Other freelancing challenges have a more practical face, such as ensuring sufficient income, getting new clients, putting together and delivering on a marketing plan, dealing with taxes and regulations, managing cash flow and expenses, to name just a few. Jacquie Samuels took a look at a few of these in the first of her two part series “Freelancing: Are You Ready to Make the Leap?”
Are you someone who tried freelancing and moved back to being employed by someone else? What were the reasons why you decided that freelancing wasn’t right for you? If you’ve moved into technical communication freelancing and are planning to keep going, what kinds of challenges are you dealing with? Or, if you’re like some of the gang at TechWhirl, how do you handle moving back and forth between freelancing and full-time? Please take a few minutes to vote in the poll, and then add your comments and thoughts about the wonderful world of technical communication freelancing. And wander over to the email discussion list to discuss your thoughts and experiences in more detail.