Too many people freelancing looks like one of those dream jobs. You get to set your own hours, name your price, and choose your clients. When you’re slogging away 9 to 5 in a ho-hum job, the lure of imagined freedom and flexibility can be intoxicating. But if you are seriously considering becoming a freelancer, it’s time to take off the rose-tinted glasses and take a hard look at the realities of working for yourself.

While being a freelancer is not all blue skies, the majority of people who make the switch from traditional employment to self-employment are happy with their decision. And according to a 2012 Salary Survey & Market Report by 24/Seven, satisfaction increased the longer people worked as freelancers. The majority of first year freelancers surveyed — 8 out of 10 — said they’d be willing to accept a traditional job compared to only 6 out of 10 experienced freelancers who had worked in the field for 10 or more years.

Income certainly plays a roll, but it takes time and dedication to establish yourself as a freelancer and build a dependable client base. The majority of experienced freelancers (55%) were anticipating an income increase this year, but new freelancers typically get their foot in the door by undercutting the competition which means working long and hard for less money.  The payoff in flexible hours, self-direction and income can be well worth the effort; but people new to freelancing shouldn’t expect immediate gratification. (For an informative freelancer profile, check out this JESS3 infographic.)

Many experienced freelancers started out by taking a few freelancing jobs on the side while they were still employed in a traditional job. This allows you to get started without jeopardizing your financial security. If you are currently unemployed, freelancing offers a way to make money while you’re job hunting with the potential of becoming an income source in its own right.

For daily tips on freelancing and selling your services on the web, read the Zoondy Daily.  Want to start freelancing? Watch our video and find out how to get started on Zoondy.