Freelancer path

    How and why do they become freelancers, how and why cease to be them? How to understand that your child has become a freelancer and it’s time to save him?

    They become freelancers for various reasons and at different ages. From 14 to 65 years old. The distribution looks something like this:

    On the right side of the chart was a long tail of little interest.
    Peak between 20 and 25 years. Contrary to popular belief, this is not like schoolchildren, and this is the age of joining freelance.

    Why people turn to freelance is hard to say for sure, the range of reasons is probably wide. For some, this is an opportunity to earn money, for others to combine the development of a specialty and get paid for it.

    The first chart is too generalized, let's see a little more. For example, like this:

    Here we pretty tentatively divided freelancers into popular specialties.
    It seems that programmers start a little earlier, and copywriters and designers have a peak in the region of 30 years.

    But with the division by gender:

    Boys start earlier, and girls peak at around 30 years old. Perhaps the peak in women is due to the fact that more often in our countries it is women who go on maternity leave. Freelance is well suited for combining when a child requires a lot of attention, but there is also free time. It’s more difficult to get a permanent job in such conditions, there is not enough freedom that requires taking care of a child, and the employer may find such an employee not comfortable for himself.

    Many people have the erroneous impression that freelance is simple and easy, many believe that freelance is such a specialty, and not a way of interacting with the customer. Ads are full of offers to take a quick course and become a successful freelancer. Usually under such an announcement, a man under a palm tree in a hammock and with a laptop. In reality, everything is somewhat more complicated.

    At the initial stage, it is difficult for the contractor to receive an order, as long as he does not have a reputation, reviews, often there is no portfolio. And the competition is great, there are a lot of people who want to lie in a hammock under a palm tree, you won’t get enough of all the palm trees!
    This is what this input filter looks like:

    On average, less than 13% of people go beyond submitting orders. That is, at this stage, 87% of people are screened out, with a small difference in specialties.

    The reasons are different. This is high competition, especially in areas where the initial qualification requirements are not so high, and the lack of persistence of those who wish. Someone simply does not have sufficient qualifications to perform the work, others do not have the skills to sell and communicate necessary for freelance.

    But the difficulties and adventures do not end there, although the resistance at this initial stage is high.

    Here are so many people get more than one review:

    After the first order, half do not continue. There is already a possibility that the contractor has found in the person of the first customer constantly and continues to cooperate with him. The rest of the reasons are the same as at the initial stage.

    It is also worth adding dissatisfaction with the ratio of labor / result to them. Especially at the initial stage, it is difficult to receive an order, and the amount of payment for beginners is rarely pleasing. That is, this ratio on the first order will most likely be the worst.

    The intensity of freelancing depends on the type of employment. Someone works only on freelance, someone combines with a permanent job. For some, this is an occasional side job, for others it is a permanent way of earning.

    At the initial stage of a career, the growth of a freelancer is very dynamic, he earns experience, earnings and qualifications are growing. A reputation is being established on exchanges, the initial “hump” of resistance has been overcome, the performer has shown his viability and it is much easier for him to get a job than a beginner.

    Then there are regular customers. In freelance, regular customers are often intermediaries. A person collects orders offline or divides larger orders into smaller ones, is engaged in management. Not always successful.

    The distribution of the duration of the active work of freelancers on our exchange on the chart below, horizontally half a year. One division is 6 months.

    There is also a large outflow at the initial stages, but those that remain - remain with us for 5 and 10 years.

    Here is the distribution by profession:

    Over time, exchanges fade into the background. Search for orders, leave applications is no longer the main source of orders. Portfolio works, reputation works, there are regular customers.
    A freelancer goes into a steady state and can be in it for different times, depending on the individual. There is no such growth as at the initial stage of work. On the other hand, work schemes have been worked out, a hand is full, the eye aptly calculates customers with whom it is not worth cooperating.

    The list of tasks that trust freelancers is quite stable, and professional growth opportunities are limited. After some time of such work, a freelancer may begin to get bored and look for growth or change. And the stock exchange has already started to bloom and the budgets are not the same as before (requests have simply grown). The grass is rapidly losing its greenness, and the crowns of the trees are getting closer.

    There are several options.


    A freelancer begins to delegate work, becomes an intermediary or a studio, you can call it anything you like. It does not work alone, it takes on management functions. This is a change of activity and expansion of the scope of services provided. In this case, the pumped profile on the exchange often helps, the same familiar and familiar to many people looks out. But the work is already done by others. The experience of working as a freelancer helps to cope with management, and such a person knows how to effectively use the work of freelancers from his own experience.

    Not all freelancers who try to delegate work cope with increased responsibility and workload. Many who have gained negative experience refuse mediation, spoiling their reputation.


    Another way is to abandon freelance altogether and transfer to the state. Either in the office, or for remote work. Often the staff of one of the companies for which he acted as a freelancer on an ongoing basis. This is not always the end of freelancing completely, because the path to part-time jobs is known, and if the profile is not abandoned, then combining can be an outlet. Some interesting project or just a small side job from boredom, extra money. Or experiments with new technologies / approaches that are not applied or are not welcomed at a permanent place of work.


    The third way is to cut your own. Everyone has ideas, and the freelancer also knows where and how to order work from specialists in related fields. Here they are, on the same exchange! Did not work out? You can always return to your usual activities and try something else.


    Some freelancers return to the exchange after they leave. Some are disappointed in office work and return to freelance. Not always for long. Others act as customers for themselves or as an intermediary.

    Contrary to popular belief, freelance is not schoolchildren and it is not at all easy. Freelance is a high competition, a lot of additional work on finding orders, on resolving conflicts, managing time and finances. If you see a profile of an artist who has been on the stock exchange for many years and has several dozen reviews, you should know that this was not easy for him.

    For some, freelance is a good school, a springboard for something more, for others it’s a place of life, for others it’s just an unsuccessful attempt to find a place under a palm tree in a hammock.

    Also popular now: