Updated: Aug 9
An international survey of 479 cybersecurity industry professionals conducted by Exabeam, reported that 62% of the surveyed professionals consider their jobs either stressful or very stressful. One of the best parts of becoming a cybersecurity freelancer is that you get to do critical and impactful work in a way that still promotes flexibility and balance in other areas of life. To take this path, there are a lot of factors that determine the overall experience that you have as a freelancer.
The primary concerns are typically around how often you will get work, how to pick and choose assignments, and dealing with fluctuating income. However, there are strategies you can use to mitigate concerns and reap the numerous benefits of becoming a freelancer.
Maximizing your earnings
According to ZipRecruiter.com, The national average salary for a cybersecurity freelancer is $101,324. This average fluctuates when you account for the differences in the amount of work freelancers choose to take on, the types of projects you work on, and which platform they use to find work. Here are tips for maximizing your earnings and success as a freelancer in the cybersecurity space:
Building your expertise and specialization
Commitment to being a lifelong learner will accelerate your career in cybersecurity and only add to the amount of money that you end up earning as you continue to evolve. Educating yourself and earning cybersecurity certifications or building specific skills which companies covet will be an advantage when it’s time to look for a project. Additionally, it is critical that you do research on the different specializations or certifications that you may need to study to stay up-to-date on emerging trends.
Choosing the right project
Targeting projects that fit your experience and specialization is another way to drive up your earnings. Going through these steps is a great way to ensure that a project is the right one for you:
Identifying ask of the project
Assess whether you specialize in what is needed
Evaluate the time commitment that the project demands from you/ What’s your current bandwidth
Determine the compensation for work completed and if it works with you.
Figure out if you will need to provide provisions
Identify if this is something that you are genuinely interested in
Getting exposure to different types of assignments
Freelance jobs open up the ability to work on a variety of projects and topics. Working directly for a single organization may not provide the breadth of experience working on projects for many industries would provide. It is a smart career move to broaden horizons and become more versatile as a cybersecurity professional. Ultimately, it will make you more desirable and increase your earning potential.
Utilizing the right platform to help you maximize clients
With an increase in freelancing across many industries, web-based platforms help to connect freelancers and clients. Be sure to choose one that aligns with your needs as a freelancer.
Key elements you should be looking for in a web-based platform:
Clear terms and conditions: Review terms and conditions and ensure they are well documented and equally protect both freelancers and employers.
Customer support: Ensure the platform provides customer support to guide users and resolve any disputes.
Easy payment and withdrawal methods: The platform should provide a smooth service to transact and receive payments after work is completed so you can be paid without a headache.
Outlined Process: You should have a streamlined and straightforward process they can follow to complete projects easily.
Earnings aren’t the only perk to the freelancing experience that you should be taking advantage of:
Freedom to Choose Clients
As a freelancer, you have the ability to choose the clients you work with and the ability to work with numerous clients or only a select few clients. Whether you work better in the madness of navigating a large number of customers with varying tasks or prefer a few clients at a time, freelancing gives you the freedom to choose.
Just like you have the ability to choose who and how many clients that you want to work with as a freelancer, you also have the freedom to choose when you want to work with them. A huge perk of freelancing is the flexibility to do what you want, when you want. The personal and professional obligations vary from time to time, thus, having the flexibility to increase and decrease your workload at your own discretion is a great perk. If you want to work full-time most of the year and only part-time during the summer, you have the control to do so.
Managing expectations along with ensuring a streamlined working experience is key in freelancing. Doing your due diligence and making sure that you are putting yourself in the right situation is what will ultimately determine how successful you are and how positive your experience will be.
Cyber Pop-up is an on-demand cybersecurity platform that provides services to companies by connecting them with vetted cybersecurity experts. We're interested in working with experts with passion, determination, and excellence.