First of all, if you’re going through this, my heart goes out to you. These slumps can be awful.
As nice as it can seem to feel secure with your current list of freelance clients, getting comfortable isn’t savvy. Even the best jobs can end abruptly (as you may already know). And other times, you have no choice but to fire a client.
Whether you’ve just lost most of your workload or you’re “fine” now but worried there’s a plummet coming soon, you need:
- More clients in the rotation than you think you do.
- A routine of always looking and applying for work.
I’ve had the bad luck of losing most of my clients in a day due to something (seasonal changes, industry lows, fate), and I’ve also gained more work than I can say “yes” to in a day.
Losing freelance work is par for the course, in my experience.
You’re Probably Not Being Paranoid About Losing Freelance Work
After 14+ years as a freelancer, I can sniff out when a job is about to change or end, even if everything seems great on the surface. And I’m almost always right.
You learn to get a feel for how clients behave and how the industry works.
Do you think that you’re just being paranoid and need to relax because there’s nothing actually wrong?
Don’t think of your intuition as paranoia, necessarily. Maybe your experience is kicking in and guiding you.
Job Security Is Possible With Freelancing
Losing freelance work at times is part of the job. A lot of people will tell you that there’s no job security in freelancing, but I’ve always found there to be more job security than in a traditional job.
If you were to lose your one and only job, it could take you a long time to find a replacement.
But with freelance work, unless you’re putting all your eggs in one client basket (a big no-no), losing one client or even two or three doesn’t have to completely tank your entire workflow.
My biggest tip for job security is to continue applying even when you don’t need the work.
Whether you can devote 10 minutes a week to skimming job boards or spend an hour on LinkedIn every day, just knowing what’s out there makes it easier to jump back into job hunting when you have to.
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If you see great opportunities, there’s no harm in applying for them. You could get extra work if you need it or turn the offer down if you don’t need it at the moment.
A lot of job opps take a long time to go from the applying stage to being hired and starting. By making applying for work a regular part of your routine, you can keep a steady flow of offers coming in.
As for the jobs you’ve applied to recently, give them some time. Replies may trickle in over the next few weeks.
Also keep this in mind: Several times, I’ve been told a position has been filled, then get an email 3 months later when the company is looking to hire again. You never know.