Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

It’s not all about climbing the freelance ladder…

Freelancing is not just a magical journey to untold wealth and success.  There are many reasons why people choose this path, and lots of benefits come with being your own boss.

I’ve become used to working for myself, even though I’ve not seen a full year through yet.  I know this because it only took one conversation to remind me of a major benefit I’d taken for granted.

Sure, I’ve mentioned it before – when I first started blogging here and at the start of my freelancing journey, but in the chase for more work, more clients and more opportunities, I had lost sight of one huge plus.

Flexibility

When I last touched on this subject, it was still fresh in my mind how great it was to call the shots and have a better work/life balance – the routine and constraints of working for an employer were only just behind me.  Nowadays I can’t even imagine what it must be like to work for someone (but is that good or bad?).

Today, I had a lovely chat with someone who shares the same office block.  Turns out, she has a special needs child, as well as the demands of two other children – her life could not be more packed if you used a shoehorn, which prompted me to wonder why both her and her husband ran their own business – surely it only added to the stress of their daily life?  Wouldn’t she much rather work for an employer where she could switch to auto-pilot on occasion, I asked.

Patience is a virtue, not part of your contract

As she described the various hospital visits, meetings and commitments she needed to attend to because of her children, she was under no illusion that working for someone else would be better.  “Can you imagine how many bosses would let me choose what days I worked around these appointments, or how much their patience would stretch if I was constantly running out of work to see to my family?” she said.  She’d got a point.

There’s probably an argument that the benefits for someone in a similar situation, working as an employee, would be a reduction in stress due to a steady income and valuable holiday entitlement.  However, these things can be attained through a successful freelancing career and careful budgeting, so it’s not an either/or.  The point she made about being able to decide when to work, is a distinct plus to anyone considering going solo.

Oh, lucky you….

Say it’s a sunny day (it may take some stretch of the imagination at the moment) Ed: Believe it or not, there are blue skies in Manchester this morning! and all you can think of is to be outside, sitting in the sun.  Employees stare longingly through the glass at the sun-baked pavements under their office windows and ache for the weekend.  Freelancers, on the other hand, go sit in the garden.  They may sit there for an hour then get back to work, but if they wanted to sit there all afternoon, soaking up the rays, they more than likely can.  Sure, they’ve still got to do the work but they can do it in the evening when the sun’s gone to bed.  Stressed?  Not likely.

There are cons to working as a freelancer but today my cup’s half-full.  My dad dropped in to see me and we had a natter over a coffee before he sloped off to his nearby allotment whilst I surfed the net looking at people carriers (don’t ask).  No boss passing, tapping his watch or shooting a frown.  Following this, I had said chat with my office neighbour and felt even luckier that I steer the good ship that is my freelancing career.

You may wonder when I managed to get any work done at all.  Well, it’s now 9.00pm and I’m writing this, so there’s your answer!  It beats watching Corrie….

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Written by Alistair Beech on March 7, 2011 and filed in Frazzled Freelancer, Freelancers, Opinion , ,


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