freelancer working from home with notepad
Freelancing is a great career for autistic people
Lifestyle

Why People With Autism Become Successful Freelancers

If you’ve ever felt like you were meant to be your own boss and run your own business from home, then freelancing may be the perfect career for you. After all, as an entrepreneur you are responsible for everything that goes on in your business. There is no one else to answer to, yet one else there to run things for you.

This is an amazing feeling when you have finally broken free from the chains of a traditional 9-5 job but let’s face it; not many full-time employees have the self-confidence and patience to start their own business. Self-employment can be very challenging at times, especially if you suffer from social anxiety or tend to freeze up in high-pressure situations.

However, if this sounds like the perfect career for you then read on because freelancing can actually be a lot of fun too! With so much potential hidden away inside of you, here’s what you need to know about freelancing as an autistic person.

What Does Freelancing Involve?

Freelancing is a form of self-employment where you work independently for clients on projects ranging from small tasks such as writing blog posts to large scale jobs such as designing websites. You’ll usually get paid per project and will often be required to complete multiple projects before being considered successful.

The best part about freelancing is that you’re able to choose exactly which type of client you want to work with. This means you can pick and choose who you want to work with based on their personality, style, budget, etc. It also gives you the opportunity to work with people you wouldn’t normally come across in your day-to-day social interactions.

businessman freelance working in a coffee shop

Freelancing is a great opportunity to work in a way that suits you, wherever suits you.

Freelancing Careers

There is a wide range of freelancing careers that allow for working with different types of projects. Here are some of the most popular examples of freelance services that suit neurodivergent minds:

  • Freelance Writer
  • Mobile Apps Developer
  • Social Media Management
  • Virtual Assistant
  • SEO and Marketing Consultant

What are the Benefits of Freelancing?

So many benefits of freelancing! First, you get to work exactly what you are passionate about. You never have to feel bored because there is always something new and exciting to learn! You have complete control over your schedule and your working environment.

You get the freedom to take vacation whenever you want or even stay home sick if you need to! Freelancing gives you independence, flexibility and agency. You also earn more freedom with freelancing because you can choose your freelance projects, as well as choosing when to work and when to rest.

But, don’t take my word for it! Check out these benefits of freelancing below!

Create a Portfolio as a Platform for Your Talents

Freelancing gives you the freedom to explore your interests and passions. It means that you can make a living doing what is important to you, so when it comes to becoming a successful freelancer, there is no better feeling than self-employment. When you are an expert in your field of expertise, it means that clients will trust you more and pay you more.

This is because clients know they will get the best work from an expert in their field. In addition to this, being busy with work will distract clients from any social anxiety or feelings of discomfort that might come up while they are working with you. You are also likely to have more time off than a traditional employee would because your job doesn’t require hours upon hours of commuting or punching in and out every day.

Another benefit of freelancing is the flexibility and freedom it allows people who are introverted or autistic. If you have a shift on a project coming up where you need some down-time, then here at freelance work, this can be easily accommodated as long as clients approve of the time away from work. Or, if you have ADHD and struggle with executive dysfunction, then freelancing allows for a degree of flexibility you can’t get in the traditional workplace.

This type of freedom allows people with autism to be able to explore their interests in isolation without worrying about outside pressure from others. They can control when they work and how much they work by sticking to what makes them happy without fear of judgement for their idea not being worth anything.

Work From Home as a Full-Time Job

One of the most enticing features of freelance work is that you set your own hours and can work from anywhere. This means you don’t have to stress about getting up early every day, dealing with loud co-workers, or getting stuck in traffic.

You can literally get out of bed (or stay in bed!) when you want and work from there until it’s time to go home at the end of the day. This gives introverted autistic people more flexibility which makes freelancing a much more desirable career choice.

You can even design your own business cards and take a more innovative approach such as using QR codes or video business cards!

work from home laid on bed

Freelancing is a great way for autistic people to work from home away from distractions.

Choose Your Clients and Discover Unusual Freelance Jobs

If you’ve ever wanted to be a business owner, but feel like you’re not good enough for that kind of pressure and responsibility, then starting a freelance business is the perfect solution for you. As a freelance business owner you get to decide what types of projects you take on, vet any potential clients and control how much money you make without having to worry about anything else.

Online platforms that act like job listings are a great place to start. Sign up to Fiverr to get started on your journey as a first step. But as you get more experience and gain confidence, you’ll realise that scrolling job listings hoping for job offers isn’t the best strategy for everyone.

For many, seeking job offers through networking on social media groups and word of mouth is much better since you’ll be more likely to charge more and take 100% of the profits. Networking is daunting as an Autistic job seeker, but it isn’t necessary – Some freelancers stick with third-party job boards and are happy that way.

You can fall back on your past experience or create a whole new business plan if it seems more promising. With no set hours or deadlines, freelancing is the most flexible work environment out there.

Set Your Own Hourly Rates and Pay Grades for Freelance Projects

By getting to choose your own work and which types of projects you work on,, you also get to choose your own rates and ways of payment. Freelancing is unique in the world of business, since pricing is demand-driven rather than supply-driven. Basically, it’s all about providing value to the client.

Example One: Time-Based Value

Suppose a client hires a virtual assistant to take on admin duties at $30 per hour for 4hrs a week. If the virtual assistant can do the job twice as fast, the client frees up a whole working day a week (8hrs). Even for a fellow freelancer such as a web designer, spending $120 means they could earn an extra $500 a week on that free day!

Example Two: Financial Value

Taking the example above further, an SEO strategist allocates 8hrs a month per client for optimising websites to rank traffic. The strategist may put the same amount of effort into helping both clients achieve 20% growth in a year. But if one client turns over $100k a year and another turns over $1mil, their perceived value to the higher-turnover client allows the freelancer to price their freelance projects higher, as the 20% growth results in two very different amounts.

At the end of the day, the work is the same, but the end result to the client means different prices can be charged. Many freelancers enjoy this as they may enjoy the lower paid work more if they’re working with a nicer client, or the work is less stressful. Yet the bigger deals allow for more flexibility should they become ill or have other duties such as looking after children in holidays.

Example Three: Social and Brand Value

Social value describes the value to the business brand as an overall. The best example of this is Public Relations, Marketing and Legal consultancy, where a company may pay significant amounts of money to recover from, or prevent, a PR disaster. The value to the business isn’t tangible in that it can’t be offset with targets.

Instead, the value comes in damage limitation. When Subway underwent a major PR disaster in 2015, they increased their focus on marketing, rebranding and restructuring to regain trust. Although this is a corporate example, it’s a brilliant illustration of how businesses will value your services in the interest of staying in business, no matter how big or small.

No Dress Code or Social Etiquette

The first reason why freelancing is the perfect career for introverted autistic people is because there is no strict dress code or office etiquette. If you are looking for a career where you can dress down or go in your pyjamas, then freelance work may be just for you.

The freedom to wear what you want and choose your own freelance jobs makes it easier than ever to just relax and enjoy those moments of solitude when the work gets too much. Just make sure you get changed if you schedule meetings with potential clients, of course!

comedy cartoon about dress code at work

Yes, you can even work in your jammies! As long as your clients don’t mind, of course!

Network With Other Autistic People

Freelancers usually need to be able to work on their own, so by choosing a career in freelancing you are also choosing to maintain your independence. This means that you’re not just doing it all yourself and working from home, but you’re making sure that there is someone out there who will have your back no matter what.

And that’s where finding opportunities to collaborate on different types of projects and network with like-minded Autistic people who are also successful freelancers is one of the biggest assets towards working for yourself.

Not only will this support system help you during those challenging times such as when the project is running late, or you are having trouble connecting with your client, but it will also give you the guidance necessary for your small freelance business to succeed in the long run.

What are the Challenges of Freelancing?

There are a lot of challenges that come along with freelancing, but I think the biggest one is self-confidence. It can be scary to start your own business, especially if you haven’t done it before.

There are lots of things that can go wrong, and you have to be able to deal with them. Self-employment also brings with it a lot of financial responsibility which can be difficult if you aren’t used to it.

I think the biggest benefit of freelancing is that you get to set your own hours and work when you want. This can be really helpful if your life is busy, or you have a lot of commitments. Also, there are tons of resources out there for freelancers, so you can learn everything from how to market your business to how to make the best coffee (just kidding).

What are the Risks of Freelancing?

Freelancing can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very challenging. It all depends on how much self-motivation and self-confidence you have. If you don’t have these qualities, it could be difficult to get started in freelancing. Even if you do have them, it can still be challenging.

You need to know what your skills are, what skills you need to learn to be more competent as a freelancer, how to find clients and keep them, how to deal with deadlines, how to handle customer complaints, etc. There is a lot to learn if you want to freelance successfully.

Start a Freelance Career Today

Freelancing is a perfect career for introverted autistic people. The first and foremost reason why freelance work might be right for you is because it’s fun. Chances are you probably have a lot of pent-up energy inside of you who wants to come out and play but when your boss gives you an assignment, your creative juices can dry up rather quickly.

That’s where freelancing comes in. You get to have all the fun that you want without the pressure or stress of having to answer to anyone else.

Keep reading for more inspiring content today!

 

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Neurodadversity
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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