By some estimates, freelancers now make up about a third of the U.S. workforce. It's easier now than it ever has been to pay the bills as a self-employed worker, thanks to communications technologies that allow us do work wherever we are for whomever is paying.
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But that doesn't mean self-employment is the right path for everyone. As contributing writer Jason McDowell pointed out last month, you can't succeed as a freelancer unless you have a certain set of skills.
Sometimes, media outlets – our publication included – are too quick to tout the benefits of freelancing without highlighting the challenges. Sure, self-employment can bring you a measure of independence and may even be more lucrative than traditional employment, but when you work for yourself, you have to be more than your own boss – you also have to be your own accountant, your own salesperson, your own customer service rep, and so on.
Some of us – myself included – are better off showing up to someone else's office (physical or virtual) every day.
Not sure where you land? Check out this new infographic from small-business funding source The Business Backers. If you follow the flowchart, you'll find out how suited you are to becoming a freelancer.
And remember – this isn't just a question of skills, but also a question of happiness. You may be the best at what you do, but if you don't have the right personality to be a freelancer, you'll be miserable going the self-employment route.