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  • Diana Schneidman

Why start your own freelance / consulting practice? (Part 3)

Here are more terrific reasons to become a freelancer or consultant. These ideas may really inspire you along this new path. (For links to the first two articles in this series, scroll down to the end.)

9. Avoid discrimination due to age, pregnancy, weight, disability or any other factor.

What seems to be a big deal if you’ve been turned down for numerous full-time jobs generally fades to irrelevance when you present yourself as a freelancer or consultant. Nobody cares.

For starters, it may be that no one knows. Since you may never see the client face to face, they often won’t know unless you tell them.

Second, what seems to matter a great deal when they are hiring a payroll worker doesn’t matter for the near term. In part this may be because you will not receive health insurance. It may be that your long-term outlook doesn’t matter; the only question is if you can physically handle the current assignment in the designated timeframe.

Furthermore, a consulting or freelance relationship is much less intense. Rapport factors that supposedly mean a whole bunch within a corporate office don’t enter into remote telephone-centered relationships.

A bit of a paunch, gray hair, remembering the Beatles on Ed Sullivan—none of these impede the launch of a freelance or consulting practice as they do when trolling for a corporate job. Now your experience and knowledge really count for something and don’t threaten potential supervisors and coworkers as they do in the cubicles.

10. Repair your soul.

You may have been beaten down by an oppressive work environment in which you were terminated—or pushed to resign—by hostile management, catty coworkers, corporate politics, project failures or budget shortfalls.

Then you have faced discouragement and intense competition while seeking full-time employment. When you discuss the job market with others, you are told you are projecting the wrong message to the universe in your depressed mental state. You attract negativity. In other words, you are your problem.

You need a positive response from the universe to break the cycle. Freelancing or consulting can generate quick pats on the back that will nourish your outlook.

Positive feedback awaits you. True, this positive feedback will not be consistent. On the other hand, rejection is surprisingly rare, especially if you wisely refrain from labeling no response—the most common response to your marketing—as rejection. Most people don’t care enough to reject you. “No” is a fact of life, not personal rejection.

So you have to work your way out of being overly sensitive. But the prize is worth it. You can get assignments that remind you of better days and restore your self-confidence. These successes can be more valuable than the cash.

Originally posted 5-11-09

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