Should You Go Freelance in 2023? Only if You Can Say Yes to These 4 Things

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KEY POINTS

  • There are many perks to being a freelancer, like a flexible schedule and taking on meaningful work.
  • Before switching to that setup, you'll need to make sure you're financially ready and have a plan for health insurance and building a client base.
  • Freelancers also need to have excellent time management skills.


Being a freelancer has its perks, but make sure you're ready to take that leap.

Now that we're in the final quarter of 2022, you may be making some financial and career plans for 2023. And one such plan may be a move to freelance employment.

There are numerous benefits you can enjoy as a freelance professional. For one thing, you're not bound to a single employer, and that means you can set your own hours, work your own schedule, and take time away from the job when you need to. Plus, in some cases, freelancing could mean boosting your income and getting to take on projects that are more meaningful and engaging.

But going freelance is a big step, and you'll need to make sure you're ready. To that end, you'll really want to be in a position where you can say yes to these things before making that leap.

1. I have a decent chunk of money in savings

When you go from a salaried employee to a freelance one, you lose the stability of a predictable paycheck. That can be a scary thing if you're not prepared. Before you go freelance, it's a good idea to have a really solid amount of cash in savings -- enough to cover a minimum of six months of bills, if not more. That way, if it takes a while for you to build up a client base, you'll have cash reserves to tap.

Keep in mind that even if you start getting clients right away, they may not pay you right away. So you'll need money in the bank to tide yourself over while you wait for those payments to start rolling in.

2. I have a plan for getting health insurance

One downside to going freelance is giving up employer benefits. And one benefit you can't afford to go without is health insurance, so you'll need to make sure you have a means of getting some.

If you're married, you may be able to hop onto your spouse's plan, if they have one through their job. Otherwise, you should be prepared to purchase your own plan, which could get expensive (hence the need for a lot of savings).

3. I have a plan for getting clients -- or some clients already in the pipeline

The last thing you want is to go freelance and struggle to find work. Before you make that transition, aim to line up some clients ahead of time so you can start working right away. And if that's not possible (perhaps due to a conflict of interest with your current job), at least have a solid plan for getting business so you don't end up facing months without an income.

4. I'm good at time management

To be a successful freelancer, you need to be really good at managing your time -- namely, because you won't have a manager looking over your shoulder to hold you accountable. Make sure you're up to the challenge of working without distractions and finding ways to juggle the projects you take on along with life's various responsibilities.

Going freelance could be a great bet for you in the new year. Just make sure you're really in a solid position to make that career change.

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