What Happens When Freelancers Stop Being Free?
While we all have our reasons for embarking on a freelance lifestyle, the vast majority of us are attracted to the ‘free’ part of the job title. Unfortunately, as freelancing becomes a norm rather than a quirky lifestyle, expectations are piling on the shoulders of experts in this field, often compromising the very reasons we went freelance in the first place. Luckily, the very nature of freelance life means that, even if you’re falling foul to constraints right now, you’re in a position to get your freedom back at any moment. All you need to do is consider the following reasons why you don’t feel free to fly (or work as you wish) right now.
You’re working with the wrong clients
Ideally, freelancers should aim to work with clients who treat them like colleagues but also appreciate the fact that you’re not a part of that company. As such, even if you’re dealing with high-end managers, you should be approached with respect and treated as a valuable asset that has its own autonomy. If any client talks down to you or makes you feel so much pressure that you may as well be in their office, then it’s often best to walk away. You should especially take the time to arrange phone or video chats with any client who approaches you to get a feel for what they’d expect, and whether that fits within your hard-earned independent work ethic.
You’re turning down work that you want to do
Many of us branch into freelancing because we want to do work that we love, which often doesn’t feel like work at all. Unfortunately, this much-coveted working benefit can also take a hit if you’ve got so much on that you’re having to turn down projects you want to do. To avoid this, it’s worth not only getting organised but also seeking assistance for at least things like admin so that you’re free for more projects that excite you. Admittedly, employment will take you away from your work for a while, especially if you have to seek something like a sponsor licence or other legal documentation to secure the talent you want. But, once you’ve got a decent team onboard, you’ll be truly free to spread those freelancing wings.
You barely have time to see your family
Promises of flexible hours are a significant draw of freelance life, but this career choice can actually lead to less time with the family than even traditional work positions. An inability to switch off or leave your workspace at a reasonable time is especially problematic in this sense and is a trap that’s all too easy to fall into. To get back into a positive work-life swing, it’s essential to not only consider your workload (start cherry-picking clients or employ help as discussed,) but to also to set stricter work hours. As constraining as it might seem, you might even find that going back to 9-5 buys you far more time to enjoy the freedoms that freelancing has to offer.