This fab blog was written by writer, sponsor and fellow ‘Freelance Mum’ Rin Hamburgh (who writes from the heart and is a big fan of being freelance). Thank you for your brillaint blog Rin.
I can’t believe it’s been over eight years since I went freelance. It was a pretty massive step for me at the time, as it likely is for most people. But I was newly single, about to turn 30 and just decided to go for it and make the leap.
These days, of course, I am employed again – albeit by my own company – and working with a fab team. But I still remember the joy of coming out of formal employment into the world of freelancing.
As we approach IPSE’s National Freelancers Day (and the corresponding Freelance Mum event, which I am super excited about!) I thought it would be good to celebrate the choice of 2 million people in the UK who have been courageous enough to go independent. Here are five reasons why being freelance is awesome:
You can do the work you love
When you’re freelance, you’re the boss. That means you can choose what projects you want to work on and which ones you would rather avoid. Ditto clients. Ok, so you have to make sure you can pay the bills, but if a project or a client isn’t worth the hassle then you can ditch them and use the time to find someone new without having to worry about whether you can justify it to the boss.
You can avoid rush hour traffic
When the morning commute is a stroll of just a few meters from your bedroom to your study, you save yourself an awful lot of stress. In fact, there are studies that show that a commute of more than 30 minutes negatively affects both your productivity and health, so avoiding your car is definitely one of the advantages of being freelance. Even if you do have an office to go do, as a freelancer you can probably choose your hours so you don’t hit the rush hour.
You can develop your skillset
As a freelancer you don’t just do the job your clients pay you to do. You’re also the HR director, the finance director, the IT director, the marketing director. You learn so much, including how to juggle your time and how to sell yourself and how to make strategic decisions. These skills are useful in and of themselves, and if you ever decide to go back into employed work you’ll find they add a lot to your CV.
You can work in your PJs
I’ve lost track of the number of client calls I’ve had while still snuggled up in my pyjamas (or dressing gown or slouchy ‘not fit for public viewing’ clothes). Assuming you’re having a voice call rather than a video one, it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss business without being suited and booted. You’ll save a fortune on your work wardrobe!
You can choose your own hours
Speaking of which, having a flexible schedule is useful in so many ways besides saving you time on your commute. It also means that you can work to your natural rhythms. If you’re a morning person you can get up and crack on straight away, or if you have a slump in the middle of the afternoon you can have a little rest. You can decide to take a sunny day off and make up for it in the evening or on a rainy weekend. As a freelancer, it’s your choice!
If you’re freelance and feeling the stress – because there are challenges too, of course – then hopefully this will remind you of why you made the decision to leave a full-time position. And if you’re still trying to decide if it’s for you, come along to a Freelance Mum event in Bristol to meet some amazing women who have been there and done that. And don’t forget to check out IPSE, who are there to help all independent professionals and self-employed people in the UK.