A common question I get asked, particularly by people who work in traditional 9-5 office jobs, is why I chose to become a freelancer. I sometimes get asked what the appeal of freelancing is considering the lack of job stability and income security. In fact, there are many reasons why I chose to be a freelancer, but here are my top 5 reasons to freelance…
#1 Working pattern
As a freelancer, I have complete freedom to control and manage my own time. This includes the big things—deciding which days I work and don’t work and how many days holiday I can take every year. I work the hours that suit my circadian rhythm and productivity zones, rather than being late to the office every day and the last person getting kicked out by security every night. I arrange my working days to spend time with my loved ones. It also includes the little things—having a lie in every day or watching every game of the World Cup or Olympics.
#2 The work
Every day, I do the work I want to do—not the work someone has told me to do, the work my boss needs doing, or the work that will achieve the CEO’s goals. I choose the clients I want to work with and the projects I’m interested in. I’m free to make all of the decisions and overcome all of the challenges in the way I feel is best, without relying on anybody else. I set my goals and can choose to grow my business or keep it where it is. I chase my own dreams, and as cheesy as that sounds—it’s incredible.
#3 No office hell
Secondly, I get to work from home. I stroll down the stairs to “work”, with no lengthy, crowded commute to the office. I wear what I want—no pencil skirts and heels here (in fact, I could wear my PJs all day if I wanted to). I can eat what I want, without having to prepare my food in advance or resort to grim office cafeterias or expensive lunch places. I can blast heavy metal while I work or have complete silence. There are no distractions of colleagues talking or doors slamming. And there’s no office politics.
#4 Be your own boss
As anyone who has ever had a horrible or ineffectual boss will know, managers can be a nightmare. I’ve had lots of them over the years. But as a freelancer, I am my own boss. This frees me up from a whole host of boss issues. Instead, I set the direction and the standards, and I work hard to achieve them. I don’t have to adapt myself to someone else’s working style or rely on someone else for the go-ahead. Being your own boss is both freeing and empowering.
#5 The working environment
I have no annoying co-workers—just my wonderful cat and my lovely husband. There are no arguments over temperature, no window open/window shut battles, no overzealous aircon, or stifling heating. In the winter, I work by the fire with my cat asleep on my lap. In the summer, I work in the garden, getting fresh air all day. In fact, I can work from anywhere in the world—and have done. When travelling for a year, I worked from beaches, and bars, beside swimming pools, and on the road.
Yes, freelancing can be challenging. It can be hard to establish yourself, find clients, compete against other freelancers, and market yourself. There’s no sick pay, holiday pay, or a guaranteed pay check. But you can manage those aspects and learn to overcome the challenges. For the benefits and freedom of the freelance lifestyle, it really is worth it.
Why did you want to become a freelancer? What are your favourite things about being a freelancer? Comment below or get in touch.