Take the Leap: Feel the Free in Freelancing
Going freelance is a big risk, but the rewards are equally enormous. With a little elbow grease and homework, your world won’t end when you quit your corporate gig to go it alone, it will grow—and you will blossom. Here are a few reasons why freelancers often boast most work satisfaction than their cubicle-dwelling brethren.
Do What You Love
You are the architect of your workday. Say yes to projects that light you up, and no to the ones that make you cringe. Sure, you may have to do some uninspiring projects to pay the bills, but you get to make the big decisions of how to spend your precious time and energy. You’ll develop an incredible portfolio of work, too.
Make your own Schedule
Night owls can sleep until noon and work all night. Who doesn’t lust after a mid-day yoga class…or nap? You can plow through a bunch of work now, so that you’ll be able to take that long vacation later. Shop when stores are blissfully un-crowded, and bring your laptop when you know you’ll have to wait for an appointment. Plus, opting out of a commute saves a ton of time and stress.
Choose your Boss
It’s not really true that you’ll work only for yourself. In a way, your clients become your boss. Surround yourself with people you want to work for and with. Just say no to organizations that conflict with your ethics, or people with terrible energy, and nurture relationships with like-minded people who are doing exciting, wonderful things (as you are!). That’s the best kind of networking.
Bid layoff-themed anxiety dreams goodbye. Some fear leaving the perceived security of an office job for the uncharted territory of freelancing, but it’s possible to make enough to support life, plus more. Freelancers generally earn more per hour or project, because employers don’t have the overhead that’s associated with a full-time employee. You’re in control of the rate you charge and how much work you take on, so you don’t have to get on your boss’s good side for a measly 2% raise.
Work from your couch, or the beach. Open the windows and turn up your favorite tunes. If you want to go back to school, you can make room in your day to attend classes. Wear whatever you like. Take grandpa to the doctor, get really close with your pup, and enjoy…this is your one and only life!
Hannah Howard, journalist, copywriter, marketing strategist and food expert, has written for The New York Times, AMEX OPEN forum, Serious Eats, Grubstreet, refinery29, and oyster.com.