If you didn’t sing the work from home song, put it on you tube while you read this, get on my vibe people.
Okay so I’ve been working freelance for 3 months now! Yay! Go mini-achievements! So after settling in and realising I’m sticking around for awhile, let’s talk about it.
Differences working freelance than working an office job. So the obvious difference is hours, most people will interpret a freelance worker as a “pick and chooser” and to an extent yes, you do get some leniency in your schedule. But depending on your job you will have deadlines, you will have peak working hours, most freelancers I know work weekends (I do, what even are weekends anymore?!), and within the company you work for some will have a contract which specifies a minimum number of hours they require you to work.
Pros and Cons…
- Yes there are a lot of benefits to freelance, especially coming straight from university, land of the mid-day naps, it is a good way to ease your tired brain into the working world.
- You can build up your confidence and increase your hours alongside it. Some freelance jobs, such as ones in education, will have progressive opportunities
- Holidays tend to be a lot easier to organise as you can shift your hours around, as long as you work smart when booking holidays it’s a lot easier than at an office job where clearance is required
- Bonuses, bonuses are great. Not all jobs offer them, however they are a very fun addition to your income
- BUT, taxes. Ah the adult world of taxes, such fun, the bane of existence. Sorting out your tax as a freelance worker can be a bit of a nightmare, keep in mind that depending on your contract you may not be classed as self-employed, so there are different forms. You have to sort out your own NI (national insurance) and pension payments.
- Just to re-iterate, DO YOUR TAXES, as a freelancer it is a lot less likely that the tax is automatically taken off your income, you will have to do it yourself. I know, it’s sad but necessary
- Now this point could be a pro or a con depending on you- work social life, yeah it’s not really there. You maybe know some people in the industry, (thank you LinkedIn! ), you can talk to them for advice or to chat about the industry but don’t expect a work Christmas party (Do I hear party of 1? Woop Woop)
- Commute, you will get lots of jokes about your commute, be prepared it’s coming. Oh your commute is so long! How do you cope with the distance?! Of walking across the landing to your office. Sigh…..
- Many people will have an opinion on your job, most commonly that you should get a second job because obviously you need to work as many hours as they do to make them feel better about themselves and ignore the fact that you can probably make the same as them on less hours per week. Aaaand breathe, yes this one I feel strongly about. Let me know what you think about this one!
- Your work comes home with you. It’s much harder to leave your work at work. In my case I only work in my office, leave all your work in the office so that the rest of your apartment doesn’t become tainted by work. You NEED a safe, work free space to relax. Trust me, you need it.
- Who’s my boss again? Don’t expect to be micro-managed as a freelancer, you will have to be your own boss and get your butt in gear. While you do have support from the company, it’s all on you to fulfil your duties.
who it works for: Obviously, this job like all jobs has its challenges. You need to be able to keep an organised schedule. Your organisation and motivation is key to success. Without these things I see the temptation to just stay in bed, I actively see the gremlin of “Doing the bare minimum” behind me, still in bed, hasn’t showered all week because it’s just me and my laptop, Junk foooooooood everywhere. It’s the ghost of Uni days reminding you of the good old days when you had no adult responsibility except to go to those exams and bam it out. DO NOT GIVE IN, you can do this!
Embrace your creative freedom, this extra free-time you have from not having the commute and choosing optimal hours will really suit those of you who have a creative outlet or other ambitions. You can do a course on the side, you can pick up a hobby. Take this extra time and USE IT! It’s a magical gift of the freelance worker.
what’s in the future? As a final note, this is a more personal addition, maybe you’re thinking I’m all talk and maybe I am secretly this lazy gremlin preaching the lies (I hope not, I showered today I swear). So here is me as a case study:
I am working as an English as a second language teacher, my job requires a minimum of 10 working hours a week with 4 of those at the weekend. I try to aim for 20 hours a week with 2 days off a week. This is the most money I have made (my first proper job since graduating) and I am now able to pay all my bills myself as well as fund my hobbies, it is magical! On the side I am currently completing an entertainment course, working on my Level 2 BSL qualification, exercising for 2 hours 3 times a week and seeing family and friends regularly. Not going to lie, I do have some lazy days, on my days off I LOVE sleeping. But I really enjoy how it’s working out.