57 million Americans call themselves freelancers today, and the world is catching on to this very appealing way to work. In fact, freelancing is growing so quickly, that freelancers are expected to overtake the majority of the workforce by 2027.[i]
We at Boulo believe freelancing is a great option for women, especially mothers. Many mothers leave full-time jobs due to the pressures and costs of raising children. Aside from raising children, women leave full time jobs due to health reasons, cross-country moves, and the need to take care of aging family members. The majority of these women continue to want to work, and freelancing allows them the opportunity to continue nurturing a part of themselves while having the flexibility they need.
What is a Freelancer?
A freelancer is someone who:
Specializes in a specific skillset that helps other businesses grow.
Acts as an independent contractor rather than an employee, working with someone NOT for someone, either on an hourly or project basis.
Can get paid by the hour, a flat fee, or retainer
Typically works with multiple people or businesses.
A freelancer’s expertise can be applied into any industry with skills in graphic design, marketing, sales, legal, content creation, social media management, accounting and bookkeeping, project management, website design, event planning, software development, administrative, copy writing and more. Advancements in technology is allowing freelancing to be a legitimate option for most anyone.
Benefits of Freelancing
The greatest benefit of freelancing is the flexibility. 51% of freelancers claim that no amount of money could get them to return to a traditional job.[ii] Freelancers can work on their own time, around personal and family commitments. For mothers, freelancing offers the best of both worlds, a job they love and extra time with family. Not to mention the ability to keep skill sets current in case they ever want to return to work as an employee.
Freelancers also enjoy the flexibility to choose where they live or work, improving the quality of their lives and making work more enjoyable. The daily hustle and commute do not seem to be a part of the day any freelancers miss.
Because freelancing is so specialized, women get to focus on the parts of their full-time jobs they loved. This is a win-win for women and companies because company gets to partner with an expert. Often, specializing in a particular skillset also allows women to earn more income per hour than if they are a full-time employee.
Things to Consider Before Freelancing
Here are important factors to consider before making the decision to freelance.
Freelancers do not receive benefits from the companies who contract them for jobs. This includes paid sick leave, paid vacation, retirement, and health insurance. There are many retirement and insurance options outside employer policies, and we encourage women to research if they are the primary insurance policy holders in their families.
Freelancers are responsible for paying their own taxes and should set aside 25-30% each paycheck to cover this cost. While it is convenient to have an employer withhold taxes for you, there are great apps, such as Indi that help freelancers accurately save for taxes.
The availability of work is not always certain, so freelancers often spend several hours a week prospecting, marketing and networking to find their next job. We know that moms don’t have a lot of extra time to market themselves or a network to reach out to, which is why platforms like Boulo are so beneficial. We do the prospecting for you!
You’re responsible for keeping up your skills. Micro-certifications show a potential client that you have recently invested in honing your craft. Use online sources or in-person classes, both available free and paid, to ramp up your skills and maintain your expertise. LinkedIn, Udemy, local colleges and local guilds all offer excellent options.
We encourage women who want to return to work, maintain their skills or are seeking flexibility to consider freelancing as an option that could benefit their career and family. Continue doing research on this growing field, then take the first step and sign up with Boulo.