Freelance jobs have rapidly increased in the last several years, which the pandemic has further accelerated. The result? Millions of people are looking to strengthen and expand their hard skills (English proficiency included) to gain a foothold.
If you’ve ever tried freelancing, even for a short time, you’ll know the wide range of competencies and communication skills that can be required.
But before we dig deeper into that, let’s first consider a question that has visited many: Is freelancing right for me? Let’s dive in and see some of the treasures (and pitfalls) that this alluring career move can offer.
What are some of the benefits and disadvantages of freelancing?
Freelance work offers a tremendous amount of flexibility compared to traditional office jobs, allowing you to create your own schedule at convenient times for you rather than chosen by an employer. In addition to the fact that you can map out your day, most freelance jobs allow you to work from anywhere, be it home, in a coffee shop, or from the International Space Station. In addition, freelancing allows you to wear multiple hats throughout your day, trying out new jobs, tasks, skills, and assignments as often as you like. Every client and job is a bit different from the next, meaning you’ll have an opportunity to experience new projects and strategies, and discover what excites you the most.
However, that’s not to say that every day brings butterflies and rainbows. Freelancers often have an inconsistent workload, especially in the beginning, which can be unnerving as rent day approaches. Difficulty finding clients can also be a turn-off for many- especially as you are getting your feet wet- and a factor that often steers potential freelancers away from going the independent route.
What skills do I need to be a freelancer?
A freelancer’s skills vary according to the area of work and services they offer. However, here are some general skills that will be useful during this be-your-own-boss journey:
- Exemplary written and spoken communication skills
- Excellent negotiation skills
- The ability to market yourself and your skillset
- Extensive knowledge of your industry
- Basic marketing fundamentals
- Empathy and respect
- Research skills
- Organization and planning
- The ability to successfully accept and learn from rejection
- Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
Is English a barrier for freelancers?
Many people wonder if English is necessary to work as a freelancer. The truth is, like many other things in life, there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
Imagine you are a graphic designer or a web programmer. Your creativity and talent don’t really depend on your level of English, does it? Your skills and talents will be backed up by how smoothly your 3D animation turned out or how solid the code for your client’s website was written. In this way, language is not always a barrier to freelancing.
However, English has become one of the most widely utilized languages worldwide, meaning it can open you up to a vast market of potential clients. To go this route, you will need to know enough English, both written and verbal, to communicate with your clients, understand their needs, and know their assignments.
Still, many freelance positions will require fluency in English. If you specialize in content creation, for example, things change. Your English must be advanced and fluent enough to write grammatically correct and error-free products. This also gives you greater credibility with your clients. Your English level, in this way, is truly relative to the jobs you seek.
English as a second, third, or even fourth language has become extremely important for professionals in any field. Clients come from all over the world, and you need to be ready to communicate with them and present quality work. None of this would be possible if your English level is not high enough.
Think your English could use some brushing up? Have no fears- we’ve got you covered! Read up on ways to improve your English proficiency here.
Are you ready to land a freelancing job?
The final decision is yours. Freelancing can be challenging, and it’s not for everyone, but it can be a beautiful opportunity to find a job from anywhere in the world. The possibilities are endless. Get out there, do your best, and see if you have what it takes to succeed in the international market with your brilliant skills.