Becoming a freelancer is a fantastic way to expand your horizons and open up a whole range of new opportunities. Making a living based solely on your own skills is a rewarding experience and Malta is a great place to live and an ideal spot to begin your freelance career, but before you do here are some tips to consider.
Networking is a priority
Freelancing is all about finding work by yourself for yourself. You can begin to look into the type of work you would like to do and the clients you want to work with while you are still employed full time. The first thing to do is start building your presence online, but even if you have a great online presence don’t underestimate the value of networking in person. Malta and its community is fairly small and the word of mouth is highly regarded on the island. It is a great idea to actually spend time at events, even those ones that seem initially irrelevant. By visiting places like Valletta, Sliema and St Julian’s cafes you will begin to build a network of friends and associates which will inevitably lead to jobs.
Find a Good Working Environment
There was one advantage to working a regular job, and that is the work environment. If you are trying to work from home it can be all too easy to become distracted and end up achieving very little despite your best intentions. The key is to have a dedicated workspace. This doesn’t have to be a whole room or even be in your house, the only thing that matters is that you have somewhere you can sit and do nothing but work. When it is time to stop or take a break make sure you leave the space and then return when it is time to resume.
Discipline and Time Management are Everything
Habits are the foundation on which discipline is built. You may not have to work from 9 to 5 every day anymore, but it is important that you form a schedule that works for you and stick to it. When working as a Freelancer it is all too easy to lose an entire day to procrastination and that will be a huge blow to your burgeoning business. Don’t worry though! You get to make your own plan and all that matters is that you stick to it.
Keep on Top of Your Taxes
As a full-time employee it is more than likely that all of your tax deductions were handled automatically. Handling it all by yourself can seem intimidating but once you get used to it the whole process becomes simple.
Firstly you want to know what is due and when. Being late can result in unwanted fines that are totally avoidable. The best thing to do is set plenty of alarms or leave yourself alerts so that you know to begin working on your tax returns in advance.
The next step is to familiarise yourself with the relevant Maltese law. You always have the option to hire an accountant, but it is not strictly necessary. Especially after you have completed it a couple of times you will wonder why it ever seemed difficult in the first place.
Chase up Your Clients
Once you have completed work for somebody you have to make sure they actually pay you, something far too many people are reluctant to do. It is not much fun, but you have to be prepared to send emails to people gently reminding them that they need to pay you. This may be difficult when your clients are friends-of-friends or have some other personal connection, but so long as you are polite about it they will more than likely be reasonable in turn. As you become more experienced you will come to know who is likely to pay on time and who will try and delay as much as possible. The process is about building a portfolio of trustworthy clients, as well as a portfolio of your work.
Embrace Running a Business
Hopefully, these tips have given you an idea of what it is like to become a freelancer in Malta. It is always worth taking the time to reflect on what working for yourself really means to you. No set hours other than the schedule you make for yourself, and you are your own boss. It is always a good idea to stop and think about the benefits and their implications before deciding whether or not it is truly right for you.