Five reasons to stop romanticizing freelance
I have been working on freelance for 6 years with a short office break of 2.5 months. And for all this time I have not met a single person who would say to me: “Freelance? Brr … horror.”
On the contrary, people admire freelancers, and some even openly admit that they envy and somewhere deep in their wet fantasies also dream of working from home, for themselves. And few people come up with the idea that in most cases, freelance is not the pink rose from Instagram, where a person lies under a palm tree in Bali and receives 500k monthly for 2-3 working hours a day.
Do I love freelance? Yes, with all my heart. Will I ever go to the office? Hardly. But I am against his romanticization: it also has its drawbacks, as in any other work.
And here are 5 reasons why freelancing is not so perfect as it seems.
Reason 1: this notorious “uncle” one way or another you will have
“Working for an uncle sucks. It’s all about being in free swimming! ” – familiar words of tired office workers (yes what really there, I myself used to say that once). But for some reason, no one takes into account that the uncle gives work in “free swimming”, the uncle pays, the uncle sends corrections and comments, and sometimes the uncle also sets the conditions for cooperation.
Yes, you can refuse to work and look for another project, but in this case, change the maximum uncle to aunt and all will also work for “someone”. The only difference with the office is that no one will tell you how to dress, what time to be at your desk, and what time to get out of it. But globally, this notorious uncle you will always have that in the office, that through the laptop.
Reason 2: just doing your job well is not all
You can be an arbitrarily talented performer, but, as a rule, this is not enough: you also need to be able to organize your work, be able to competently communicate, search for orders, pricing, and promote your services.
Here is a simple example for you: one of my acquaintances is a smart specialist in one of the technical fields, but completely uncommunicative and non-initiative. If you give him a job in his hands, he will do it perfectly. But finding a few projects for yourself, presenting yourself to a new customer, discussing the price – for him it’s an impossible task, he’s uncomfortable doing these things.
Therefore, he openly declares that he cannot imagine himself as a freelancer (and he does the right thing, in my opinion), but in the office he feels like a fish in water.
Reason 3: your salary does not have a ceiling, but there is no bottom either
I won’t talk much about the dead seasons, instability and other things, this is probably understandable without me. Moreover, with competent financial planning and the organization of their work, these dead seasons can be minimized – a matter of experience.
I just want to draw your attention to the fact that most freelance gurus, especially when they call on their courses to switch to work for themselves, focus on the ceilingless salary. And for some reason, they often forget that this phenomenon has a downside: you can earn indecently a lot on freelance, but nothing can be earned.
It’s not that this format of work is only for the most fearless, no, but at least at first it’s foolish to wait for reinforced concrete stability in terms of money.
Reason 4: the illusion of freedom
In my opinion, this is one of the most widespread myths: “Freelance is svaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa but but to the essence. What is meant by freedom? Ability to work not from the office in tiguli, but in a cozy cafe near the house? Do not wear suit, and stay in pajamas all day long? Have an opportunity to walk in the park after lunch for an hour or two? Well, it counts.
But do not flatter yourself; in all other respects, freelance is not so “free.” Over 6 years of experience, I met only a couple of colleagues who could afford:
- do not work on weekends. Generally. Even a little bit;
- it’s easy to travel the world for a year, at least six months, a couple of months;
- never run into rubble, such as when there’s no time to even go to the toilet;
- always set yourself comfortable long-playing deadlines.
In general, there are two castes of people who can easily afford all this – very experienced freelancers with serious price tags and, often, a team of assistants and … loafers.
Before the first, you need to grow for a long time, with the second everything is so clear. In the total mass, the average freelancer is very attached to his stool, sometimes more than 8 hours a day.
Reason 5: freelance is a constant investment
The stupid word “proactivity” is, no matter how strange it sounds, the reality of a freelancer. You have to invest in money and time: study kilometers of information, take courses, attend conferences, buy new software, in other words, constantly keep abreast.
It is unlikely that you will succeed, as is often the case in the office, “take it as simple”: settle down in a warm place and sit quietly working, wait for an increase in salary and position. You need to move all the time, keep up with the market, update your skills, otherwise competitors will easily take your place.
To work faster, more productively and more money, I had to buy a new laptop, start a blog (and then the second one, by the way, it is about freelance ), learn how to distribute the load for a week ahead and keep accountability to myself, subscribe to several YouTube and Telegrams channels, start communicating and sharing knowledge with colleagues.
And in the office what? In the office, perhaps it would be enough for me to simply come every day at 9:00 and once a year to attend some boring seminar.
Conclusion: you do not need to romanticize freelance, it is good, but imperfect. Be realistic.