Flirting with the freelance profession

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I’ve successfully branched into the realm of the full-time freelancer (success!) and I thought it apt to share what I’ve learned thus far. Since I’ve landed, I’ve been blessed by a constant stream of work flowing in from the great interweb and it still catches me by surprise. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry a little about future income. *I do have a chocolate habit to sustain and a future english bulldog to feed.

I know it’s still early days, but I would like to venture and say I’ll never work for a boss again if I can help it. Regardless of the fact that my personality renders me uber productive when I’m working by myself, I’ve learned that your boss’ ideals are very often different to your own and in the end, it all boils down to money, rendering loyalty pointless.

Instead I’m opting for a life of freedom, of creativity expressed daily, clients who see your worth and appreciates your effort and random conversations revealing surprising parts of yourself. This will be a huge learning curve, but I’m looking forward to every second of it.

The not-so-brilliant-my-couch-is-flirting-with-me-side-of-freelancing

Mere annoyances – Spending copious amounts of time at home makes you more aware of random sounds, your neighbours and how much you dislike working from home on a weekend. I’ve succumbed to brief daydreams where I’m stomping on my neighbour’s phone, duct taping the guy upstairs to the wall and freeing the caged bird down the passage.

Working too much – After working practically non-stop for the last few weeks, I’ve come to realise that I need some sort of a routine/schedule to prevent myself from turning into a cranky hermit. Although I love what I do, I’d like to keep it that way and boundaries would enable me to do so AND prevent me from swearing at my macbaby in a sleep-deprived manner.

I need to break up with my chair – I’m sorry chair, it’s not you, it’s me, you weren’t designed for copious amounts of sitting and I should have invested more in my future business. I would say I’ll miss you … but I’d be lying.

Exercise becomes crucial – I’m quite fond of functioning like a normal person and waking up with a kink in my shoulder/back/leg/wrist is not fun. Making time for stretching and exercise is challenging, but so worth the effort. *plus having the kitchen a few steps thataway can be a tad problematic snack-wise.

The fantastic-why-didn’t-I-do-this-sooner-side-of-freelancing

You’re in control of your time – Aaaaah can you smell the freedom? Working from home affords me the luxury of organising my own schedule, no more asking permission to go to the dentist/doctor/florist/hairstylist/psychic/gathering of invisible friends. If I wanna go for a stroll on the beach, I merely find my keys, it’s as simple as that.

You’re in control of the creative process – I love creating something, fine-tuning it to perfection and surprising a client with the result, a result I’m 100% happy with. The creative chain starts and stops with me and the only other player is the client, a situation I’m increasingly becoming very fond of.

No more silly ‘exhausting’ small talk – I get it, it’s what normal folk consider interacting with their creative counterparts and on occasion, I tend to enjoy it too, but not forcing myself to do so on a daily basis does wonders for the inner happy juju. Now when I choose to interact with like-minded folk, it’s on my own terms and this goes a long way in staying true to who I am.

I believe we are created to adapt, change and grow, and whilst our professions don’t define us, they do provide us with an opportunity to make our mark in the world somehow. I’m willing to work my fingers to the bone if it means I’m creating a life I can be proud of – are you?

“We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours.” ~ Dag Hammarskjold

4 comments

  1. Great post! on the few days where I freelance from home. I totally get this. unfortunately I don’t feel in a position to do full time yet as I’m in the early stages of my career but I applaud you for telling it how it is!

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