Working in digital or elearning? In a client or agency role? Let’s make a bet.
I bet you the beverage of your choice when we next meet that this thought has crossed your mind (probably in some meeting or other):
“I should strike out on my own. I could do this for myself. I should so go freelance…”
Did I win? (Drink is still on me, no worries. Don’t go ordering something crazy now). Here’s a better offer: The best bet you can place is on yourself. So what’s stopping you from stepping out?
We’ve asked five of our top performing freelancers on Jam Pan to share their stories on why they made the move, and what benefits they’ve seen. Warning: They might just tip you over the edge and out of that cubicle…
What Prompted you to Make the Move to Freelancing in Digital and Elearning?
So done with commuting and managing – give me freedom!
David: After many years in a senior management position, working long hours and facing a daily commute into London, I wanted a change. Setting up my own e-learning development business gave me the freedom I wanted and allowed me to fulfil my dream of relocating to the Peak District National Park.
Rich: I had been in L&D and in the same industry for 15 years, moving from trainer to designer to various manager roles and realised that I missed the creative/design side. An opportunity arose, me and my wife put some thought into it, considered the risks and decided to go for it! Jam Pan were a great lifeline at the start – they provided my first opportunity and have been a great support throughout. They’ve extended my network through their connections and helped me to win further contracts.
Andy: It’s something I always wanted to do but never had solid financial backing to allow me to ‘make the leap’. Then, my current employer was undergoing some huge changes and was offering attractive voluntary redundancy packages. This gave me what I needed to make the move and a timely new relationship presented a perfect contracting opportunity. I’ve not looked back since.
Clive: I went freelance because I didn’t want to set up another company and fancied doing the work rather than managing it. There are obvious benefits. For the past 20 years I have worked from home and had complete flexibility to work / not work as and when it suited me. You have no boss and, within the scope of the market, control your daily rate.
What are the Benefits of Working as a Digital / Elearning Freelancer?
Double your money, put your kids first, choose your work, walk the dog when you want…
Rich: Absolutely loads! I get to work from home (or pretty much anywhere I want) over 90% of the time. My commute involves one flight of stairs. I work the hours that suit me – so if I want to attend that swimming lesson on a quiet Thursday afternoon, I can – as I can make my hours up later in the day. It’s given me freedom! But the biggest benefit – is variety – I set out to interact and involve myself in as many different industries as I could and so far I’ve learnt loads from that exposure. Learning new things is always the main driver for me!
David: For me there are two main benefits. First, I can pick and choose the projects that I’m genuinely interested in working on, and say no to less enjoyable work. I specialise in instructional design and e-learning development, and there are usually several potential opportunities on Jam Pan. Secondly, my work-life balance is the best it’s ever been – there’s no commuting and my working hours are pretty flexible so I can take a couple of hours off in the day to go for a run in the hills with my dog, then catch up in the evening.
1 –The variation which comes with working with different clients regularly means it you’re always interested in the work
2 – The Ownership of your workstack. Don’t like the look of a project? Don’t bid for it.
3 – Flexibility. I work with clients across the world, mostly in a remote capacity so I find myself with the flexibility to set my own start/finish times, as long as I’m doing the work.
4 – Finance. While also the biggest challenge, if you’re proactive and work on projects which are financially sensible, you can earn around double the amount of money of someone undertaking a similar, salaried role
5 – Support. The ‘freelancer’ community is very supportive. I’ve built many strong relationships upon conversations I had with other freelancers early in my journey and we regularly keep in touch, helping each other out. Working with Jam Pan for a couple of years now has played a key role in both providing a regular source of work and developing my own network of contacts.
Martin: There are many but for me the ability to work from home has meant that I have been around for my children. I have taken them to school, helped out at school, been there for their sports days, concerts and so on. My wife and I run our business out of our home so we are around when they get home.
Aside from the positive impact on family life, I value the diversity of work and the relationships I have developed through work and the fact I can create the space and time to explore new business ideas. I have collaborated on a number of projects I don’t think would have been a possibility had I been working nine to five in an office.
Time For Your Next Move?
Sure, freelancing isn’t for everyone. But it might be for you. These top performers and thousands more have made successful careers through freelancing in digital and elearning, and winning work through the Jam Pan marketplace.
Care to join them? Sign up for the Jam Pan Marketplace here.
And if you’re staying client side for now – you can find these freelancers and and many more in our marketplace. They can make it easier for you to get the (current) job done.
Next time we’ll share these top freelancers’ views on building a career, winning work, and staying on top of digital learning trends. Subscribe to our blog below to keep up…