For a lot of people, freelancing is the epitome of freedom and flexibility in the working environment; leaving this kind of privilege behind to go back to full-time employment is widely seen as unusual. But that’s exactly what our Genius Elizabeth “Biz” did. Since she joined WorkGenius just six months ago in April 2021, she has had a stellar career with a variety of clients. As WorkGenius gives our Geniuses the opportunity to work to their own schedule, it also brings multiple possibilities for every freelancer – working across a wide range of projects, working in a team of experts, or being the number one choice for some clients.
We interviewed Elizabeth “Biz”, to get the full scoop on how she built her freelance career on Workgenius and to get her personal view of freelancing vs full time-employment:
How did you become a freelancer?
Due to my insatiable drive, I am one of those people that is always learning, always setting higher goals, and continuously improving myself. Upon furthering my education and skill set with Google, Udacity, and LinkedIn, I thought it would improve my chances of securing a position in my desired niche. For quite a while- I was seeing many opportunities but was not having success in obtaining an interview. When I saw that other people in my field were having success, despite the pandemic, I delved into freelancer platforms to connect with employers who were more apt to utilize my skills. Immediately, my personal brand was received exceptionally well and I began having success in finding short-term contracts that allowed me to develop further skills.
Where do you see the advantages of being a freelancer and what got you excited about it?
Being on the lookout for a full-time position is time-consuming and almost a job in itself. It was important to me to expedite earning, not yearning. Meaning- the more time that I consumed in finding a position, the less of a chance I was earning wages. The ability to cut out the searching and just get right into projects was a huge draw. That is what being a freelancer really allowed me to do: get matched with a client and agree to work on the desired outcomes on a short-term basis. This is ridiculously rewarding and exciting because the diversity in projects a freelancer can bid and work on is hefty. The ability to quickly navigate projects I qualified for is what attracted me to freelancing and being able to bid on exceptionally interesting projects and learn new skills is what excited me about freelancing.
On the flip side, what’s the not so great part about freelancing?
Many people who have not freelanced before are under the assumption that freelance earnings are comparable to full-time employer compensation. This is not the case when determining tax brackets and your yearly tax preparation is due. Caution is recommended when delving into freelancing. Along with tax planning, I would recommend alternative health insurance options since benefits are not a part of freelance work.
How has your freelance experience been with WorkGenius?
WorkGenius ended up being my main source of clients in my freelance projects. Admittedly, I was active in the services of the competitors. However, WorkGenius really has a unique platform that I feel has a robust vetting process on both the client and freelance sides. This provides tighter summaries of the expectations the client has of the freelancer, stronger showcasing of the freelancers’ skills, tailored available projects the freelancer can choose from, and expedited payment processing. I am really impressed with the projects I am able to work on. In addition, the ease of communication with the WorkGenius staff means they are readily available and responsive to my concerns. My needs are addressed and I regarded the previous exchanges as very professional.
Can you imagine working as a freelancer again?
Of course! Freelancing is a great way to learn about companies that otherwise would not be known. There are many startups as well as stable companies out there using freelancer platforms to find new talent. Opportunities arise when utilizing new methods of employment. In my experience as a freelancer, I have expanded my personal brand and given myself a new sense of accomplishment. The ability to find and connect with people to help find solutions is very rewarding.
What advice can you give to people who are struggling with the choice between freelancing and permanent employment?
Remember that each experience is a learning opportunity. The short-term basis of freelancing is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, try something new and continuously grow your skillset. Along the way- you meet a lot of new people, learn about how companies are adapting to post-pandemic remote work, and probably the most important, is learning something new about your abilities with each new project. If you don’t bid on a project that you think is outside your skillset, then how will you be able to grow? Take the chance and test it out for a few months and I’m sure that you will experience a sense of pride when you look back on all your accomplishments!
Here’s the best part: after a few months of freelancing, you can reassess how you want to proceed. If the projects aren’t making you feel fulfilled, you can always look at a project you did enjoy from a different perspective. Companies are always hiring, and maybe the project you liked has a posting for a position that can get you in the door since you have established a relationship with the manager you worked with while freelancing.