A Day in The Life of a Freelancer
Alternative Title: What Do I Actually Do All Day?
This is a question I get asked a lot, more than I care to admit and I sometimes even get asked if I get paid? I'm not sure exactly how people think I live in London without getting paid but the less said about that, the better! Anyway, answering is always a little thorny, and once I have got over my own defence mechanism of feeling a bit embarrassed and sheepish about my job............this is usually what I say:
Errrrm, loads of different things. "I, erm writ-.....I mean, I'm not a proper writer but I write stuff and people pay me sometimes".....blah blah, awkward silence, blah. That's usually how it goes down and I am left wishing that I just had a more easily definable job. Except I used to have that, and I can't say there's any great satisfaction in telling someone what you do and seeing the 'ping' in their eyes when you know that they understand it. Really, it never made my day when that happened and I'm sure that it doesn't for you either. That's not what makes you heart swell with pride, or why you jump out of bed in the morning right? It's certainly not why I chose this uncertain, at times scary, at times amazing, but never dull life of a freelancer.
A freelance what though? Well, it doesn't really matter does it? Being freelance is a job title in itself, and more and more these days people are choosing to diversify their income and choose flexibility over safety. I feel like I am constantly reading articles about 'the rise of the digital nomad' or 'why I chose to quit my office job', although maybe it's just that I notice it more now that I too am one of them. I certainly never realised that I had been a digital nomad long before I knew what one was. The reality of living and working on the road has been documented by so many people and it's not always pretty. I have to say that I am torn, because I do agree that it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The issue is that it's a choice and one that no one wants to hear you complain about when they are sat at a desk in a job they hate. Needless to say that I do complain about it! It's all relative, rose tinted glasses, the grass is always greener and other sodding cliches!
So, genuinely, what is it like to be a freelancer and what exactly do I do all day? And, for those of you who are concerned; how on earth do I get paid?!
I have an office, in our spare room and I make sure that I get up, get dressed and sit down to work before 9am. In fact, I am often working earlier, but the point is that I think it's important not to stay in my pyjama's all day or work from my bed. So, like most people I sit down to work at 9am latest, and stay there until 6 or 7pm. I don't take a lunch break, and I drink gallons of tea.....so that part, at least, is very similar to anyone else's day.
The difference is, I guess, that throughout the day I flit between various client projects. I spend around 50% of my time on one big client and the rest between a few others, plus my own blog. A little part of my week, which should be taking far more time, is pitching for new clients and trying to get articles commissioned. Ironically for a social media phobe like me, that is the easiest freelance work to gain and, it's without question, the worst. But all jobs come with tasks you dread, and in the grand scheme of things, this isn't the worst I've come across!
An obstacle I often come up against is that people presume that because I work from home, I am available to come play when they are off work......I never tire of explaining that I'm working and can't come for cocktails at 2 in the afternoon......except that I do tire of it, and sometimes go for cocktails anyway ;) That is the beauty of my freelance life, and the pros outweigh the cons a million-fold.
I don't know if that explains anything at all, but I hope it does clear a few things up. If nothing else, it was pretty cathartic for me!
Are you a freelancer? Have you ever wanted to quit your office job and work from home?
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