The strange world of being freelance

I’ve officially been a freelancer since I came back from holiday at the start of October. So about a month or so. And it’s a funny thing to get used to, in quite a few ways. I left university *cough* about 17 years ago and have been working in various offices ever since.

But I like freelancing so far, for many reasons. And here are just a few.

There’s no commute
Having spent much of the last 8 years on the M25 and other motorways, dual carriageways and handy countryside shortcuts, it’s nice to be able to walk to work. In my slippers. With a cup of tea in my hand. And I haven’t been to the petrol station much recently, either.

Red kite flyingYou can work whatever hours you like
If I wanted to get up at 6am and work until 3pm, I could. Or I could work for 3 hours, go out for the afternoon and start work again at 6pm for a few hours. As long as I note my hours (for hourly/daily rate work) or get the work done (for projects), it doesn’t generally matter when I actually do the work. That’s weird. But nice. Especially for someone like me who likes to have a bit of fresh air during the day and not spend all day inside with a computer.

You can wear whatever you want
I’ve heard of people who work in pyjamas. I haven’t succumbed to that, yet, but it’s always nice to know the option is there. Unless of course you have a Skype video chat planned. So far I have found that getting dressed makes me feel like I’m ready to do some work – plus it comes in handy if the tea bags run out and I need to go to the shops.

You can concentrate!
I work best in peace and quiet, as my brain is just wired that way. I like to have plenty of time to myself and I concentrate best when I don’t have any noise around me. So being able to work from home all by myself is brilliant for getting a lot done.

You’re not stuck in an office with annoying people anymore
You know the ones. They go on about things you have no interest in, they make bad tea, they seem to think you’re there to do all their work for them, they are just generally irritating and inconsiderate to work with all day. I have worked with many people like that over the years, and I don’t miss them at all….. [I should point out to the lovely people I worked with between March and September this year that I don’t mean them. They make nice tea. And have cake on hand at all times. Besides which, I chose to go back and work with them all for a second time!]

Of course there are a few things I’m discovering about the freelance world that aren’t so delightful – but I think so far the good things are outweighing the not so good.

If you’re a freelancer, what bits of freelancing do you particularly enjoy? And if you’re not a freelancer, what aspects do you envy?

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