Imagine no rules
It’s a little over six months ago now that I became a freelance web design/developer. Though it wasn’t as if I’d jumped into an entirely new profession, the work enviroment is totally different. The whole structure of your working life is removed. But the freedom does have its challenges…
This sudden exposure to no rules (well, technically there are rules), the dissappearance of a boss figure, becoming your own boss, is quite a shift from the usual 9 – 5 , structured day and employer-employee working dynamic.
It began as very much a sense of empowerment. I was boss. I could work how and when I wanted. My office was completely under my control. I could play music, takes breaks, go out, whenever I felt like it. Ah the blissful freedom!
But it wasn’t long before I realised something. My clients became boss. They call the shots and set the pace. And the deadlines too.
This isn’t a bad thing.
If you’re pleasing your clients, you are succeeding as a businessperson. No longer do you have the dilemma: please your boss, or your customers? The two become one!
But this isn’t the only surprise. The seeming lack of structure suddenly requries a whole new set of skills. As a web designer, I had developed my own workflow (e.g. Photoshop visuals, spin up a dev server, starter theme, gulp….). As a freelancer, this workflow is much longer and somehow, less exciting. There are now financial records to keep, recurring invoices to set up, VAT returns. I’m boring myself writing about it.
But it’s all necessary. Once the system is in place, it’s not too bad! As a freelancer, I know I’m in a very fortunate position. Working how you want, where you want, with no daily commute, doing the things you enjoy, really is a great place to be.
So no grumbling here! If you’re considering switching to a freelance lifestyle – whatever your particular line of work – I’d probably say go for it! With freelance on the increase (+14% in the last decade), it’s moving from being the wacky option to more maintstream.