3 Special Experiences Brought by Freelancing|You Should Try It At Least Once in Your Lifetime!

February 27, 2024

Photo from Freepik

【The article wants you to know】
1. Why should you try freelancing at least once in your lifetime?
2. 3 unique experiences brought by freelancing
3. How freelancing can aid in personal career development

For many, the term "entrepreneurship" embodies dreams and passion. The startup stories of Apple, Google, and Tesla have become epics and legends of our time, akin to the clarion call of adventure, urging the brave to embark on risky ventures.

However, among the millions of workers in Taiwan, only a minority ultimately choose entrepreneurship. For most of us, even after graduation, we opt to join companies to utilize our skills.

However, today, I want to persuade you of one thing: even if entrepreneurship isn't your choice, I still recommend trying freelancing or earning some extra income outside your regular job, at least once.

Because it will bring you many unique and interesting experiences, some of which could even pave the way for your future career.

1. Experience of Flying Solo

There's a documentary about Air Force pilot training called "Taiwan's Elite Warriors :Fighter Pilot", which I highly recommend. Regardless of how many flights rookie pilots take under the guidance of instructors, they must ultimately pass the test of "solo flight" to become true pilots.

Many professions are similar. For instance, a surgeon can only truly become a proficient doctor when they can operate independently. It's like when we were kids learning to ride bicycles; no matter how stable our rides were with training wheels, it wasn't until the day the adults removed them that we could proudly say, "I can ride a bike!"

Similarly, even if you always accomplish your missions at work, have you ever wondered, if you didn't have a boss or supervisor guiding you, could you solve a problem from start to finish or produce an output?

I suggest you frequently ponder this because more and more companies are particularly interested in whether job applicants have the ability to "work independently" or even "make independent decisions," which has almost become a standard interview question.

Unless you never have to look for a job again in your life, you'll have to prove to others that even without an "instructor" or "training wheels," you can still independently create value.

My first freelancing experience was being a lecturer for a company. At that time, I had experience giving lectures within the company to my colleagues. Later, a friend asked me to give lectures to the employees and the boss of a small company.

I thought it wouldn't be a big deal, just revisiting my previous PowerPoint presentations, but after agreeing, I realized that when I used to give lectures within the company, everything from timing, location, venue equipment, attendees, notifications, and tracking results was arranged by supervisors and colleagues.

The learners also knew each other well. Many "invisible" tasks and responsibilities were taken care of by others. It wasn't until this freelancing gig that I truly felt the thrill of "flying solo." Despite the immense pressure, I grew immensely.

Nowadays, many companies require job seekers to have the ability to "work independently," especially for positions involving "remote work." If you have had several successful experiences of freelancing independently, it can definitely serve as a strong testament to your capabilities.

2. Experience of Market Value

I remember my first freelancing gig as a lecturer, where I charged an hourly rate of NT$ 4,500. For someone under 30 years old with no professional teaching experience, this was quite high.

After successfully completing the project, I realized: People are willing to pay NT$ 4,500 per hour for my time! I quickly compared this to my hourly "rate" at the company, which was only a little over NT$ 200.NT$ 4,500 compared to NT$ 200, a difference of 22.5 times - this stark contrast left me astonished! This led to a new realization.

I thought, if I have a market value of NT$ 4,500 per hour, why would I accept a company's hourly wage of just over NT$ 200?

You might think, NT$ 4,500 per hour gigs aren't available every day, but the company's monthly salary is stable! But what's more important, I believe, is that by working at the company, I'm "earning less" byNT$ 4,300 per hour.

So, I must "earn it back" from elsewhere; otherwise, working in the company would be too costly!

How do you "earn back the difference"? Certainly not by stealing office supplies or tea bags! It's by diligently learning skills, accumulating experience and contacts, obtaining these intangible yet valuable company resources, so that in the future, there's a better chance of selling yourself for NT$ 4,500 or even higher per hour.

So, I would suggest trying freelancing independently to understand how much you're worth from the perspective of the market?

This way, the next time you complain about low company salaries or aim for a higher pay, you'll have more confidence! And when you plan to switch jobs, you'll have a more precise understanding of your market value!

3. Experience in Business Operations

Working in a company, especially in highly specialized roles in large corporations, often creates a sense of dependence. Because each of us only does our part, and there's often an SOP to follow, we can become mere cogs in a big machine, losing our ability to solve problems and be creative.

If being a little screw all your life brings you happiness, that's fine. But in this era, where companies have shorter lifespans, and entire industries rapidly decline, if you're a young person under 40, you must think carefully about how to support yourself and your family in the future.

Although Taiwan's legal retirement age is 65, in recent years, people in their early 50s have trouble finding jobs, and there are more and more "retirees." If these "old screws" have the ability to operate a small personal business independently, wouldn't that provide more career security?

In recent years, I've seen many seniors around me who were high-ranking executives in companies, receiving retirement benefits, wanting to start small businesses (usually cafes or food stalls), but most of them failed. "I led hundreds of people in a listed company, expanded business globally, why would opening a small coffee shop be difficult for me?"

However, "professionalism" and "entrepreneurship," though only differing by a word, are entirely different games.

Being good at management is going from 1 to 100, while starting a business is going from 0 to 1. There are too many different know-hows and challenges between the two, being proficient in one doesn't guarantee an easy transition to the other.

Therefore, for office workers within the stable framework of a company, if you can allocate some extra time to try "freelancing," experience the feeling of going from 0 to 1, face the market alone, and take on the new role of "principal and bell ringer," you'll be building strength for your career. Even if you face career risks in middle age, you'll have more chips to deal with it.


Most office workers, when they hear "freelancing," first think of "earning money," and if the money isn't much, they lose interest.

But what I want to say is, even if you're not interested in earning extra income and have no intention of starting a business, just want to be a professional office worker, the rare experiences brought by freelancing, such as "flying solo," "market value," and "business operations," will help build excellent assets and moats for your career, making it worth trying when you have some free time!


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