Perks of being a Freelancer (and other things I learned)
I have this, shall I say, odd quirk of being extra kind when I’m pissed off. It’s like my way of unleashing my fury within and letting light shine instead of me being rotten in the darkness. I was pissed off in a hundred different ways earlier this evening – okay, maybe that’s a bit exacerbated but you know what I mean – and all I could think of were the cons of freelancing, so I decided to switch it around and blog about the pros of it instead.
I was reading an article earlier about being a freelance blogger and it had really helpful tips in it. But in my own words, I hereby enumerate the perks of being a freelancer.
When I left my very first job, I wasn’t really planning on being a freelancer, and I still don’t see myself settling in this kind of lifestyle although I’m not saying that it’s bad, everything has its pros and cons, but let’s admit that being in a corporation promises more financial stability, which is a must these days (and forever, I’m guessing). More so, I was looking more on the side of joining an NGO, or a non-government organization, to help the needy without being too much of a money-thirsty employee, because let’s face it, money doesn’t really entice me. It’s a necessity but I’m not going to kill for it. There came a time that I went through, let’s say, a divine intervention, where I would pray really hard, read the bibles, save bible verses in my phone endlessly, and write encouraging words about myself for myself, you get the picture. Until such a time came that I stopped waiting for divine answers and took actions on my own hands. Partly because I can’t rot in that miserable state forever, and partly because I was starting to get bored and I knew I needed to earn some money soon. Lo and behold, it was not too long until I bagged a freelancing gig that I’m still doing to this day. So, enough of the introductions and let me get on with the real stuff.
AS THE NAME SUGGESTS, YOU GET TO BE.. FREE.
You’re free to choose whatever job you like, sometimes how much you get paid (which of course is still based on you and your potential employer’s agreement), and you get to be flexible with your work schedule (as long as you’re able to meet the deadline). But that would also mean..
WORKING DURING IRREGULAR HOURS.
I’m not a morning person. The first thing I think of when I wake up is “I want to sleep more.. but dang I got work to do.” Yes, I still wake up pretty early for someone who doesn’t have to be in the office by 8 a.m., which means having to wrestle with fellow commuters just to get in the bus prior the real work. Also, I don’t function well in hot conditions. A warm weather just has something in it that pisses me off and makes my brain refuse to work properly. For some reason, it also makes me sleepy, which I don’t understand, because who honestly enjoys sleeping while soaked in sweat?! On the other hand, I function better when I’m comfortable, but not comfortable enough to fall asleep. Like now, it’s 11:15 p.m. and I refuse to sleep still because I want to enjoy the nice temp from the AC unit while I’m still awake. That said, I don’t like mornings but I function well at night. So majority of my work happens when the sun has already set.
FINDING YOUR PACE.
Working at home doesn’t mean we have more time to work, we also try to balance things out. We also feel stressed, unlike some obvious misconceptions that working from home promises a more chill environment, no. I’m picky with where I work so I constantly move around from our bedroom, to the dining table, and back to the bedroom. It’s not so easy to work at home because obviously, there are the temptations of sleeping in, being hooked on social media because nothing restricts you from doing so, having a little too much of TV time, or putting work aside altogether. These things are very tempting but I always remind myself that the more I put off work, the more I would have to spend time on it later, and the more I would get stressed out of cramming. Procrastination is a total deal breaker. So you just have to find your pace and know what works for you.
WORKING IN FLIP-FLOPS AND MORE COMFORTABLE CLOTHES.
There are the perks of having loads of personal cash to spend on things you’ve always wanted like clothes, shoes, gadgets, etc. But there’s also the perk of not having to spend anything and not having to stress yourself of looking presentable every single day because clearly, no one really has to see your face. You’re also free to wear your rugged shirt, as long as you’re comfortable in it, and hence, could make you more productive. Personally, I don’t like going out just because I don’t like putting in effort to look nice, or even decent. But I don’t like to also look like a homeless person, so working from home pretty much saves me from all that drama.
BEING UPDATED WITH HOUSEHOLD EVENTS.
This one, for me, is really important. It’s important for me to keep track of what’s happening in our house, what bills have to be paid, what food needs to be bought from the palengke and the groceries, how our pets and plants are doing, and so on. Being the only person left in the house everyday, aside from our two helps, I get to keep tabs on household activities, plus I cook almost every dish we eat, aside from breakfast, which mom still cooks everyday, so it’s essential that I get to be in the house, except when the maids don’t need to be supervised on a particular task.
FLEXI-TIME FOR FITNESS.
Working out is a vital part of my day. It’s my number one stress-reliever (when it’s not stressing me out), so I need it at arm’s length at any time that I will need it. Whenever I feel too consumed with work, or I simply can’t focus, I take a break, put on my trainers, and work out. It also helps that I have own stash of workout gear available for anytime that I need them.
HAVING A STAR CLIENT.
From the article that I read, it says that being a smart freelancer means having several clients, as opposed to relying income from only one source, but it’s also about making sure that you have a star client, the client that pays you on time and constantly gives you work. I have to admit that it’s something I’ve taken for granted until now. I have a star client, my only client, that pays me well and on time, and has a job readily available for me right after I submit the last job. I also read in one blog recently that some clients pay months after the events. Jeez, that’s not very ideal now, is it? As for me, my star client pays me on time and my employer is pretty legit, so I guess I had it going better than others. It doesn’t mean I earn more, though. The “no work, no pay” still applies to me.
HAVING ENOUGH NAP + COFFEE BREAKS.
My freelance work requires me to read a lot, and that means I have to always be up on my toes, and not skip on anything as much as possible. My brain needs to be wired to the story no matter how much it disinterests me, so I need to at least be into it, if I’m not really into it. That means getting enough rest and caffeine fix. I’m trying to ditch the coffee because hot drinks doesn’t help cool the hot weather, so I try to chug down lots of water instead. I can’t deny that being able to nap whenever I want is a total advantage in working from home, though. I’ve been a sleepyhead since birth so nap time is important to me.
Those are the top things I can think of right now at the top of my head. I hope this helps anyone planning to freelance soon. Although there are loads of articles online about freelancing. All these opinions are solely based on my own lifestyle.
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