Self-employed workers now make up over 15 per cent of the Canadian workforce in all types of sectors. Using individual professional skills to gain freelance work can be a great way to pull in extra income, or take charge of your full-time career as your own boss.
With the strong cultural push towards remote contract or project-based working, you may be wondering how to get started with freelancing. In this article, we will cover the basics of freelance work, including the benefits and constraints of freelancing, building a professional network, and possible fields of freelancing.
What is freelancing?
A freelancer is an individual who is effectively self-employed. Freelancers use their unique professional skills to work on their own projects, collaborate on projects with companies, or do contract work for limited periods of time. A freelancer or free agent is not on payroll with any specific company, but rather gets hired on a project-by-project basis. This gives them the opportunity to have more control over the type and amount of work they do. However, a freelancer is also required to personally take on the responsibilities of running their own small business, sourcing their own work, and vetting their clients to make the best business choices.
Flexible, remote freelance work has many benefits, but it also poses a unique set of challenges. Newcomers hoping to break into the Canadian platform economy should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing, as well as the added responsibility of managing Canadian taxes and registering themselves as a business.