As we all know freelancing has pros and cons.
The pros are:
– higher hourly rate (so ideally working less and earning more)
– the chance to continuously meet new people and extend your network
– to work on different projects in various fields
– to be your own boss
The cons are:
– insecurity – often you don’t know whether the following week/month you’ll get enough work
– having to actively look for work
– to always promote your business
– do all the admin and accounting
– respond to infinite emails and calls
– not having paid holidays
– the risk of working over the weekend or to never stop working if you don’t manage properly your time
As I like to define it, freelancing is a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes you feel so full of work you can’t do anything else in your life. Sometimes you’re down and feel on the brink of unemployment, but even then, a single call might drastically change your situation.
Imagine a Friday evening, you go out with your full-timer friends. They are all happy and careless, but you’re not. You haven’t worked for the past two days and don’t have anything lined up for next week. You feel that you shouldn’t really be there wasting all your money in a pub. But then a phone call.
“3 weeks project, £300 per day, starting on Monday. Are you in?”
Like that, one second. It happens…it happens a lot. Mostly because recruiters like to leave things to the last minute – on a Thursday and a Friday always keep your phone with you.
So from feeling miserable, you suddenly feel like paying the next round to all your friends, you’re employed and rich now!
That above is probably not the right behaviour anyway. I like freelancing, but I’m still a person who gets stressed very easily (although I’m working on it). While one of the most important things with freelancing is not to get stressed. Business goes up and down. One day you’ve got more work, one day less. That’s for everyone owing a business, in pretty much every field.
Then of course if you’re an employee that’s not the case. It doesn’t matter whether your company is doing well or bad, you get your salary and that’s it..“not your business”.
Freelancing is definitely not for everybody. Many people like the routine, they couldn’t live without knowing whether next week they’ll have enough work, or couldn’t be bothered to always look for work. They like to leave the office at the end of the day and find some more work to do, ready on their desk, the following day. Fair enough, I don’t dislike that at all, but…that makes you fall into the routine, which is something I don’t really like.
Said that, next week I’m going to start working full-time again…WTF right?
Well, in the past months as soon as I switched the “actively looking for jobs” button on LinkedIn, I’ve got a lot of job offers, most of them full-time unfortunately. I usually don’t even look at them, but I kept saying that I would accept a full-time role only if it was in a cool agency. That’s because I kind of miss an agency experience in my CV and because I’d like to work with people who actually do my same job. So I can compare, learn, compete or just speak about something a little more technical.
Furthermore, the company I’m about to join specialises in interaction design, which is exactly what I study in my Master Degree. They do a lot of projects similar to my famous Hamster Wheel. It is quite a niche field and I believe that this step would make perfectly sense for my career.
Finally, besides all this, there is one more reason why I accepted the job: I started to feel lonely. That’s not one of the cons of freelancing I listed above, as I didn’t think it was. But then I realised that working freelancer, surely you can meet a lot of people, working always in different offices or going to co-working spaces. But still, that’s mostly about meeting new people, making new contacts, it’s not like having some colleagues.
I’ve been without colleagues for a while now and I start to miss that feeling of belonging to something. I’m not sure how long this would last, but as I met my future managers Steve and Nik, they immediately gave me that team spirit feeling which I’m missing in this moment.
Just for info the company I’m joining is OMM.