Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

Freelancer Freedom and Job Flexibility

The good thing about being a freelancer is that you don’t work from 9-5.

 The bad thing about being a freelancer is…….you don’t work 9-5.

 Confused? You won’t be after this weeks edition of the Frazzled Freelancer

I have been getting increasingly frustrated with working from home as I detailed in my last post – the noise, the distractions, etc. but one of the benefits (I hope) from having a working office away from my home is that I can shut the door on it when I decide to finish work for the day.

Working from my kitchen table (which is in prime position in my house) meant that the whole family walked past me, due to it being a thoroughfare to get to other areas of our home.  I have no spare bedrooms so this situation was the only option, pre-office.  Yes, it was great to loll out of bed and not have to even get dressed to do my work, (please don’t imagine it or it will put you off your food) but it also meant living around my workload.  Therefore, if I had a deadline for a writing job and I needed a break, the work was always sat on that table winking at me until I came back to it.

Due to the working shifts of my husband (he does regular nights), it did mean that I could spend the time the girls came home from school with them, hearing about their day and who said what to whom – knowing I could pick the work back up in the evening.  This was a blessing in one way but a curse in the other.  It was hard to relax knowing that I had mountains of work to go back to.

“But at least I had that flexibility”.

Had I still been working for my last employer, I would hardly have enjoyed time with the girls before tea, homework and bed, let alone having the flexibility to pick them up from school too. 

Take this morning; my eldest daughter, who’s ten, has left for a residential trip with her school.  Even though she maintained to everyone else she didn’t need me to wave her off, I knew she did.  I didn’t come into my office until 10 a.m. having waved her onto the coach.  The smile she gave me (one of relief, if truth be told) when she spotted I was waving manically with the other mums made my heart lift.  Driving off after that, I thought, “I’m so glad I’m self-employed and can choose to make these decisions myself”.  I didn’t need to inconvenience any work colleagues, beg a boss or lose any lieu time to capture that moment in my child’s life.

I’m also starting to reclaim my evenings – because I get more work done in the daytime away from the distractions, I’m more at peace.  I have spent the last four years full-time employed and running a small, part-time freelancing business, so the pattern of picking up work once the kids are in bed is second nature to me – but I must admit, I’m getting used to winding down naturally of an evening and going to bed at a normal time.  I’m less stressed and the whole family benefits from this flexibility.

Of course, there are benefits to working for an employer, don’t get me wrong, and it’s worth reminding myself that the more time I spend doing things with the family, the less money goes into my bank account each month – something you wouldn’t worry about when on holiday from your 9-5 job.  However, the kids are only young for a short period of time and the flexibility, convenience and being in control of my working hours is the right thing to do for me at this time in their life. 

Sure, if things don’t work out so well with my business, I may in the future still go and work for someone else, but right now, being a freelancer and being able to do as I please is truly priceless.

I may, in the coming weeks, bring up some negatives about working for yourself – to the point you think I’m a moaning old goat.  Today, this post is one of praise.

I love being freelancer.  I love working for myself.  I LOVE being my own boss. And I love seeing my kids grow up. Eat your heart out all you overworked and overstressed bankers.

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Written by Editor on September 24, 2010 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Opinion , ,

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