People often say that as a freelancer you can easily go insane if not careful. What do you mean not careful? Well, meaning you tend to forget that you are a human being and act as a freelance tester robot walking around in pajamas and dark circles around your eyes.
As a freelance tester, you must discipline yourself in order to succeed and still keep yourself healthy both physical psychological. It means that you need to develop a schedule for yourself. If you want to offer quality, you need to not overwork yourself. Don’t forget that a freelance tester must fight for payment so the efforts are a little bit higher.
Because I walk in your shoes, I learned a few tricks about how not to become mad or insane as a freelance tester.
Even though a freelance tester can propose his/her own deadline, there is a tricky part you should take into consideration. You don’t want to be in the situation when you spin out the time and just do nothing. Time is precious. Time is money. Avoid procrastination. Give yourself deadlines in order to advance with your works in a quality manner. You can’t imagine how important is to have a task timetable. This way you have a better view of what you have to do, how much time you have for these tasks, and start writing a battle plan.
Fight the enemy
The worst enemy a freelance tester could have is social media and it’s not only about freelance tester actually. But as I said above, as a freelance tester you have to auto discipline yourself more. What you can do is use apps that won’t allow you to log on Facebook only after a period of time. It’s funny when you put it that way, but social media is like gambling. You don’t even know when you are scrolling down and time magically flew away. Try SelfControl and block those websites that won’t let you work in peace.
You still need a day-off
Even though you might be tempted to say that not having to go to a real office, where a real team awaits for you and a real boss might or might not chase your work, you still need a day-off. Productivity will never have its place if you don’t allow yourself to have a break. Don’t struggle. You will end up in a place where you hate working and this won’t be profitable for your career as a freelance tester. If you really are a workaholic and can’t imagine your life without working, allow yourself a day when you don’t need to use your brain so intensely and just take it easier.
Even though you are working alone, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask or share knowledge or information. If you feel that your work might lack of quality because you need information from developers or from other parts involved, ask for it.
Try not to become the lonely guy. Just because you don’t work with a team it doesn’t mean you can’t go to interesting conferences or events that involve freelancers, testers, developers and so on. Sharing knowledge is important for your evolution as well. Search for the most recent events that will take place in your town and go for it.
As a freelance tester, you will still have brief meetings, Monday meetings, end of term meetings and so on. Follow-ups will help you keep the track of your tasks, responsibilities, and further actions.
Follow-ups are not only for making sure you remember what your tasks are. You should do follow-ups after an event you attended, send emails to those who might possibly give you a project to work at. I know it’s hard to be that sociable but, believe me, it’s for your own good.
Eat. Sleep. Be your best version!
Don’t forget eating. Sounds stupid, but when you are so concentrated on your work, you might forget eating healthy, exercising, drinking water and having breaks. Freelance testers often forget these essential actions because knowing time is money, might lead you to that. But starting a healthy food schedule, avoiding snacks and junk food will do magic to your productivity.
Maybe you should also avoid drinking wine or beer while working.
Eyes on the payment
Yes, you want to be likable, “wantable” and to win the project. But eyes on the money dear you! Agree your payment first, make sure you discuss all the terms and the tasks. Just be transparent, tell them your price, make sure you look very serious about it. You know how much you worth. Fight for it! Also, here you have some tips & tricks for an increased income as a freelance tester.
Don’t take yourself any less seriously than you would if you applied for a 9 to 5 job. It’s still about your competences, your work, and value. Ask questions, I am here to answer!