Five reasons freelancing is awesome

A statue of a tightrope walker in front of a blue sky with white clouds.

Today is exactly three months since I left my old job to go freelance. I’m significantly poorer financially, but so much happier so I know I made the right choice. There have been a few teething problems as well as the stresses you’d expect about being both my own boss and the only earner in the family, but it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Here then are five everyday reasons why my new life freelancing is so much better than my old nine-to-five existence.

The commute

Three months ago, I was paying through the nose to stand on a crowded train for half an hour in the company of people staring into their phones and not daring to speak to each other, lest the world implode. Now my ‘commute’ is the five-minute stroll back from the school run – which I really enjoy doing. People smile, say hello and chat with me. We even know each other’s names!

The hours

I very rarely got lunch breaks in my old job and was greeted with a fairly unsympathetic response when I complained that this wasn’t healthy for me or good for my productivity. I can now take time off whenever I want. As well as giving me back time with my family – which I had really missed – and the opportunity to have longer to bond with our new baby when she arrives, it means I can do things like be on the BBC!

The attire

I had to wear a smart shirt and trousers and black shoes to my old job. I hated how formal I looked, was always uncomfortable in it and never understood why there was one set of rules for most people and another for the designers. Now I do my work in jeans, T-shirts, hoodies and my slippers. Winning!

The atmosphere

Although I got on with everyone I worked with, the atmosphere in the office was always quiet and tense. It was like being in a passive aggressive monastery. We weren’t supposed to talk too much, which I thought was odd for a communications team. Now I can get my work done with music on in the background. The fact that I no longer have anxiety dreams speaks volumes too.

The variety

Not long ago, I was writing about the most tedious subject matter I’ve ever encountered – it was important, but mind-numbingly dull nonetheless – and had absolutely everything I wrote rewritten by committee several times over. Now I’m writing about all kinds of fascinating things and the people I’m doing it for are happy with the first drafts. It’s wonderful!

It would be remiss of me, of course, to neglect to advertise my services here! Visit my work with me page to find out more.

Comments

  1. Kate

    I am not freelance but I work from home and I recognise most of this. It can be isolating though. This is impacted by the fact that I can’t currently drive due to recovering from a broken arm. Before I broke my arm, I would be at the gym after school drop off nearly every day and a lot of that was about human contact.

    It’s also meant I don’t do most school runs too as my kids go to school nearly 2 miles away, which is a long old walk both ways, especially when you live in Lancashire and you can’t let your arm get wet! Talking to people via email or phone is just not the same.

  2. Mark

    I too left my corporate job 3 months ago. Doesn’t time fly! It’s tough starting out without anyone to bounce ideas off and you have to be very self disciplined to avoid getting distracted into doing odd jobs around the house.

    I have to admit, I still have feelings of guilt whenever I take a break, something I never did when I worked at the office. Guess that comes with working for yourself though.

    Good luck with the freelancing.

  3. Sammy

    This is such an ace post to read… I envy you so much for this too! Wish I could go freelance, its a scary thought but something I would love to do. One day maybe 🙂
    Very positive and happy times for you x

  4. Tim

    Glad to hear the upsides are more than outweighing the downsides, Tom. It’s so easy to get bogged down only in financial considerations, but you’re clearly enjoying a whole host of lifestyle benefits too that can’t be easily quantified.

    Plus it’s annoying whenever I have to turn down a radio or TV oppprtunity because it’s on a work day and I can’t just drop everything to head in to London at a day’s notice. So much for my 15 minutes of fame …:-)

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