Fun Fact Number 1: I was opposed to the idea of freelancing if you have a full-time job.
Fun Fact Number 2: I began exploring the idea of freelancing for the sake of extra income. Alone.
But what happened when I actually began doing it? I eventually ate the facts aforementioned. Let me tell you my story.
Two years ago, I met a friend on LinkedIn. Long story short, we're located at both ends of the world. He had a number of freelance work on his plate and he just couldn't handle all of them anymore, so offered to pay me to handle some of them. I was skeptical at the beginning because I haven't done any part-time work, which I'll tell you, was a complete BS excuse to have. Honestly, I'm not sure if I can juggle my full-time job plus the additional work. But who am I kidding? That's extra money! And for someone like me who's not really good with money (yes but I'm learning so... go, adult me!), I needed any outlet I can get to pay my monthly bills so I said yes. It turns out, freelancing has done a great deal for me—money isn't the best part of it, really.
A Full-fledged Master Multitasker
I'll tell you something: No one is that busy with his or her day job if you have the chance to do something you love. Having a side job can help you become smarter with scheduling. You learn to manage your time wisely, hence juggling a number of tasks at the same time so you get things done faster—it's a coveted trait to have. For those firm advocates of focusing on something one at a time, it's no worry. Eventually, you'll also learn to prioritize. Chances are you'll be dubbed as a workaholic but you don't mind, do you?
Quench Your Thirst for Learning
I know most of you just couldn't sit still and only do one thing (count me in) because you hate routines and well, this is the perfect solution. Take a freelance job and treat it as an extracurricular activity. Look at something you find yourself fond of (hint: your hobbies). You can be a corporate slave during the day then a hip-hop dance instructor at night. The catch here is you're not actually doing it for the money. You're able to get in touch with your creative side and feed your aspirations too. Scratch that itch, I say.
Be Somebody's Dr. Phil
I have a Thought Catalog (for overthinking and feelings) and LinkedIn Publishing (social media and marketing blogs for brand and professionals) page, which I both stumbled into and learned upon the course of working freelance. Both pages started out as a personal development project because I wanted to improve my writing. It's still one of the reasons why I do it but right now, I've found a higher purpose for it. People started to read and apply them on a day-to-day basis so I tried to come up with more diverse content, like this post for one. I don't consider myself an expert: what I usually write is based on something I really know. It feels rewarding because you're able to help out people, brands—even your friends. Writing about something you've experienced is fun and therapeutic too. Your friends might've gone through the same situations you have; it's real and that makes it more relatable.
(Accidentally) Finding your Calling
You might have a job that's totally working for you, and then you take on a side project that'll expose you to an industry you're not really familiar with. Turns out, it's what you've always wanted to do. But since it's a new arena we're talking, the tough part is to go back to square one and learn. But if you're one of those people who crave learning like pizza then it'll be fun. The good thing about it is you're able to dive into the nitty gritty of it, should you decide it's time to change careers.
Networking Without *actually* Networking
One of the best parts of freelancing is the people you meet and potentially will work with. Working on something that isn't your day job can automatically expand your network. You'll be known for your skills, not your ability to sweet talk. Also, building your portfolio would be more convenient and you can choose which jobs to take. Sure, the money you get from freelancing can be rewarding. What you earn can support your family and cover more expenses than working a single job. But if you're looking at the long-term benefits of freelancing, it's much more than the money.
You Invest in Yourself
Taking a job that's entirely foreign to your norm can help you build a wider skillset that would be more valuable as you go on with your career. You're taking growth and personal development in your own hands. At the end of the day, what you end up doing is completely in your hands—just make sure it's something you see yourself doing for the next 30 years. If it's freelancing, then rejoice the benefit of not paying taxes! Just kidding.