Hi everyone, if you're a new reader. I'm Jen. I'm a freelance marketing manager, writer, and producer. It's been a fun run, but my gosh, equally exhausting as it is exhilarating. Don't be too fooled by the beautiful Instagram photos from adventurers, photographers, and freelancers - there's plenty of stressful, wifi bumming, late nights and long hours.
I remember telling my mom I was going freelance and she didn't love the title. She said something like, "Maybe you can think of something else to label yourself." In the past, freelancers got a bad rap! I think it was the title for aka slacker, struggling artist... But in today's era with the blessing of social media & our undeniable urge to stay connected, it's so possible to work for several people & companies from virtually anywhere.
I decided to go freelance because I realized I had a skill and, more so, I did not want to come into the same office & do the same work over and over again. I realized there was so much out there & opportunities don't just come, you have to go chase them. It was absolutely terrifying to quit my 8-5 stable job, 401k, benefits and the like. But the day I walked out of that office, it was just me, myself, and I ...one gigantic trust fall into myself. I took a deep breath and probably said something very cliche like, "I got this."
1. What is freelance?
Freelance means you're your own business and you work as an independent contractor for different companies, people, and places. You are not tied to one entity & you are free to float from project to project, company to company.
2. Benefits of freelancing.
If you are someone that loves meeting new people, working on new projects, and accepting extreme challenges, it could be the right route. You have to be able to shift gears quickly & treat every client, person, and project with equal stamina & energy because, at the end of the day, every job is a reflection of you. It can be incredibly rewarding to see a project through from idea to execution.
You (sort of) get to make your own schedule. In the beginning, you're definitely at the beck & call of your newest clients. You have to show what you're made of & make sure you're prioritizing people & things properly, that can come at the expense of your "free" time. But as you build relationships of trust and clients know they can rely on you, the schedule starts to free up as you get into your groove.
3. The cons of freelancing.
Accepting your failures can be harsh. Like I mentioned, when you take on a project for a company or client, it's a reflection of you. Sometimes, without having much support as a freelancer (employees or interns) you can't do it all & things can fail. When it fails, you can't point any fingers & accept failure. For me, I'm sensitive about my work & hate the idea of disappointing anyone but to survive & continue, I have to learn from every mistake & evolve from it.
You're running your own business! You have to be your own bookkeeper, accountant, project manager, promoter, and so much more... You may have one skill that allows you to take on clients & pay the bills, but plan on wearing every hat possible. It can be exciting & personally, I love learning new skills to keep my business afloat - but at the end of the day, it's hard to be everything and still have enough juice to do great work.
What's your experience going freelance? or just thinking about it? I'd love to hear your perspective & experiences, pitfalls & successes. Feel free to drop me a line.