5 psychological challenges of freelancing

Thinking about making the jump to freelance life? You'll find all the resources you need to help you make the decision here on Creative Bloq – including the ultimate guide (opens in new tab) to being a freelance designer and 10 things nobody tells you (opens in new tab) about going freelance.

Here we're looking at mental health. Do you have the mental strength to survive freelance life? Here are five psychological challenges you'll need to face…

01. Loneliness

"How was your weekend? Really like what you're doing there. Would you like a cake?” These are all things that you are not going to hear if you're freelancing at home.

Keeping worries, doubts and Facebook addiction at bay when you spend your nine-to-five solo takes Jedi-like mind control.

02. Motivation

With no-one breathing down your neck, everything you do – from the quantity of work to when you start in the morning – is completely under your control. Keeping excited without the enthusiasm of others tests your love for design to the max.

03. Prioritising

Every client you work for always expects their commission to be your top priority. Often it's not. Trying to keep everyone happy when six people want you to do last minute changes in a day, probably means you're going to bed at 3am. Sorry.

04. Direction

Unlike your full-time colleagues, freelancing doesn't have a linear progression where you work your way up the chain. Navigating which opportunities to take on, without the help of a mentor means you can take on too much, have huge FOMO pangs or wield a downright bizarre CV.

05. Pressure

Overspent on your holiday? Got bills to pay and you were sick for a week? Not only is the responsibility for bringing in your income enough to provoke a melt-down, but seasonal fluctuations and lazy finance departments constantly keep you on your toes. There is no stability… ever.

The full version of this article first appeared inside Computer Arts issue 246 (opens in new tab), on sale now, which reveals the UK's top 30 studios and is packed with advice for freelancers.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.