The upside of going freelance
I already told you about the downside of going freelance. Let's now take a look at the brighter side of a freelancer.
First of all, you can manage your time as you like. If you need to go see a doctor, or you have a friend in town for the day, you just take some time off. And when you have kids, the ability to manage your work time according to their needs is really precious. Did you ever have a boss who let you have your kids with you at work and work only when they didn't need you to go pee, play, build cabins under your desk? Well, I never did. So I'm really grateful that I could stay at home with my boy and still bring money to the household and do the work I so love. It takes some time to get into some kind of productive routine, but once you find yours, it's great. I for myself work in the morning, when my husband is already at work and my son still sleeping. Then, after lunch, when he's back in bed for a nap, usually letting me work for at least two hours (yes, I know...lucky me I made a big sleeper) and in the evening. That's my daily routine, but then sometimes, he prefers to play all alone in his room which leaves me even more time to work.
The second really great thing about being a freelancer is that you are your own boss. You get rewarded for your work and see your business grow. Of course, like I already told you, it takes some time to get used to, but in the end, it's really rewarding to see exactly how each contract you fulfill roots your work a little deeper. In the beginning, I Kind of used to see the clients as my bosses, but with time, I realized that is not what they are, and now, I see them more like collaborators. You work with your clients on creating something new. Not for them. The final translation you deliver is a brand new product or even piece of art.
Last but not least, going freelance widens your horizons. When I worked as an inhouse translator, the documents I had to work on where always similar one to the other, but since I started working as a freelance translator, I got the opportunity to work in various fields going from commercial to literary through legal, medical and many many more. When looking for how to set up your business as a translator, you'll probably run into specialized translators. I have one advice for you. Do not specialize too early. You might miss something you'd be really good at and that you'd really enjoy. Do not close any doors before even looking at what's hidden behind them. Step by step, your specialization will come to you on its own and if not, you should know that a specialization is not necessary. You can work on several different subjects and still be very good at your job.
This being said, I hope you'll enjoy your trip in freelance adventure land as much as I do.
Good luck to all of you!