Freelancing Life – Pros & Cons
The decision not to renew my work contract last September was the most satisfying, conscious free resolve that I had ever made in my career life. The realization came after making a huge profit for my then employer in less than eight months and was politely informed that “profit sharing” wasn’t part of the deal and it wasn’t the company’s problem that “you did not read the contract of your employment”.
The realization of feeling duped, unappreciated and exploited for more reasons than one was a big blow to my self-esteem! Suddenly, 12 years in the construction industry, the 5 AM rises, 12 hour days, late nights, on call weekends took a toll on me.
The word employment made me angry.
It had been a good run having raised my sons, single handedly, and the opportunities that had had me excel professionally were in plenty but I was not whole. The sense of purpose in my own life wasn’t being met. My Physical, mental emotional and spiritual needs craved for something more.
But why give up the comforts of a weekly pay check, medical benefits and other perks you ask?
Simple. I needed to be creative once again. I wanted to use my imagination, my hands, my ideas, my ability to create, my inner voice needed to be brought forth. And I couldn’t do this working full time for the man. I needed to move away from the noises and quagmire. I needed to rekindle my passion. My passion to write and twiddle with words and believe in my own day dreams and not someone else’s.
I wanted to act on a passion that I acquired from an early age, writing compositions and essays that wowed my teachers when I was in primary school, pioneering a high school newspaper, writing winning plays in my high school and college days. Those then were simple days where money wasn’t even in the picture. But those days, they did back then make me euphoric and gleeful!
I wanted to feel that way again.
As is with life, changes occur and one puts aside ‘childish things’ and ‘dreams’ and gets into the real world of family, bills and competitiveness in this all so fast moving world.
My writing was pushed aside and I was just like any other American; I joined the rat race.
It wasn’t until a few months ago when an old friend called me and told me how much she had enjoyed reading an article that I had submitted to an online magazine. She introduced me to Freelancer and my passion was resurrected. I found thousands of people in need of my skills and that to me was the welcome I had so long waited for.
I was home.
As is with everything there are relative inconveniences and conveniences. Below are mine:
Pros of Freelancing:
Ø No more long commutes in traffic.
Ø Work & Life balance is flexibility! I can now go on my walks whenever!
Ø Am happier, (even with less pay…but optimistic it will get better) less stressed with an 8lbs weight loss!
Ø I learn a whole lot about various subjects that I wouldn’t have otherwise bothered with!
Ø Am my own boss. Am my own work…nobody else takes credit for it!
Ø No layoffs or pink slips.
Ø No office bureaucratic politics.
Ø No spending on clothes, gas and lunches.
Ø My makeup lasts longer as I don’t have to wear it every day. (It’s a girl thing, boys)
Cons of Freelancing:
Ø Finding good clients that will pay reasonably as work can be outsourced globally for lower pay.
Ø Finding good healthcare and other perks.
Ø Work shortage periods.
Ø Deadlines that sometimes require long hours of work.
Ø Delay of payments from clients.
Ø Coffee and toilet paper usage in the home goes up! :)
That said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
My ability to have all these ideas that am able to act on without consulting anyone, the tenacity that I’ve acquired so that even if I fail it’s a lesson learnt and am able to go back to the drawing board and strike at it differently, has turned me into a person that offers value to my community and the world!
Either way, however you look at it, freelancing is not for everyone nor the faint hearted. One should go at it with a go-getter attitude, optimism and a lot of humor; especially when you find yourself responding to some really weird writing requests.
All the best to my fellow freelancers!