Freelancing is fun! Is gives you freedom, flexibility but is also awfully exhausting. With the boom of flexible working patterns, freelancing is a massive trend now. It provides a colourful alternative to the typical 9 to 5 day. Here is what I know and wish I knew when I landed my first freelance job.
Trying out freelance was a gamble. I has the ideal of working from home and sipping soya lates in hipster-y cafes. For me, freelancing was a mid-station, a break from part-time jobs giving me enough time to figure out what I want to do. I thought I would not stay long, even though freelancing was always a temptation of mine. But now, six months in, and I never wanna go back. Simultaneously, I feel unsure about having a freelance career for the rest of my life, security is something freelancers do not ever have.
I am not a fan of stereotypes. Having fled my hometown at the age of 17, tackling the life in London as a teenager, meeting people who have were often twice my junior. There has always been lot of challenges coming my way, and freelancing was the next obvious one on the list, which I am glad I decided to face.
“A work-from-home dream […] but it all comes at a cost”
Fed up with my old job, office/store/pub, I was dying to come across a freelancing opportunity. After attending multiple events, I came across Matt Dowling, the founder of The Freelancer Club, and followed him for so long till I received a job offer. In the blink of an eye, I was resourcing influencers, chatting to people with tens of thousands of followers, and negotiating the way I had no idea I could. I must say, the book ‘Getting to yes’ helped me a great deal at that stage. Today, I know that no negotiation is impossible.
And so, here I am. Living in my PJ’s, working most of the time from the comfort of my bed or on a sunny terrace, losing track of time and following my dreams. Working with influencers allowed me to believe that anyone’s dream can and WILL come true. But it all comes at a cost.
The biggest downside of freelancing is the bloody working hours. They are so unclear that one must set strict boundaries in order to remain sane. It takes a lot of effort before you get to a stage when you know what rate to ask for, when and how and who to work for, and push away the fear of not being wanted or doing a crappy job. Probably something every influencer has gone through at some stage of his/her career.
“Freelancers are […] strong, determined, dedicated and risk-taking individuals”
Freelancing is also isolating. It is easy to forget the last time you went out or cooked a proper meal. Also, one must learn not to be constantly online and fight the fear of missing out. Watching other people’s stories is the worse, which is why I took a two-week-long social media detox. Having time for myself allowed me to reflect, calm down and be grateful for what I have.
Freelancers are people like anybody else. But they are also strong, determined, dedicated and risk-taking individuals prepared to thrive. I am proud to count myself as a member of this community. And to anyone who is considering a career swap, I would suggest to give it a go. 100% the best experience of my life. #nofreework