7 Reasons to Freelance

I never set out to freelance. Prior to having children I had a job I loved as an Online Marketing Manager working for a clothing company in Central London.

After the birth of my first daughter almost 6 years ago, I assumed that I would be going back when my maternity leave finished. Things didn’t work out the way I planned. I had hoped to work 3 days a week and would have considered 4 if it had come to it. But my company didn’t agree. I suggested working from home for part of the week or working some form of condensed hours, but after several meetings I was told that the business could not offer me any form of flexibility. At all.  I was utterly amazed that there was zero room for negotiation especially as I’d had such good relationships with my bosses and colleagues. One of the first posts I wrote when I set up this blog was about the lack of flexibility in the work place and even now, two years on, I still feel passionately that not enough businesses offer working flexibility for parents. In this digital age, there should be far more options.

With a one year old baby, I refused to go back to the old routine of commuting into London five days a week. It would have meant seeing my daughter for only a couple of hours a day. I didn’t earn a fantastic level of money and my husband worked out that after paying for my train ticket and full time child care, my wages would be pretty much gone.

Reasons To Freelance

So you could say that the main reason that I decided to freelance was because of feeling pushed out from my permanent marketing job and a lack of alternative roles. I was lucky enough to get a year’s experience working remotely for another self-employed copywriter. After a year of that, I set up on my own. More people are turning their back on the conventional 9-5 job and choosing to freelance, and there’s plenty of reasons why.

1) Hours to Suit. Perhaps the biggest advantage of freelancing is that I get to work the hours that suit me. This means I always get to take the kids to school and pre-school and I usually pick them up. I work when the children are at school but I sometimes work in the evenings too. If I need to go to the dentist or pop out to the shops, I can do it without any bother about taking time off.

2) No Commute. I hated the commute with my old job. It used to take me over an hour each way and the cost of the ticket was immense. Whenever there was a problem with the trains it could mean hours of delays which is a real problem for working parents who have to get home to pick up their children.  Now, my commute consists of travelling from my bedroom to the kitchen.

3) Variety. There’s plenty of variety when you freelance. I’ve worked with small and large businesses with industries as varied as beauty, archiving, dental, children’s books, veterinary and design. I love working with different people and on different projects.

4) I’m My Own Boss. There’s no more reporting into somebody else. No more slogging your guts out to line someone else’s pockets. The more I put in the more I get out of it. That’s incredibly satisfying and I think it would be difficult to go back to working for someone else now!

5) Doing More of What I Love. I’ve always enjoyed marketing and I’m lucky that on some projects I still get to be involved in that side of things. But I love to write and so getting paid for it is brilliant!

6) I’m Learning All The Time. I’m constantly learning. Not just about the industries of my clients, but about the running of the business. What works, what doesn’t work. Even the mistakes and challenges are all a learning curve.

7) Choose the Projects I Want. As a freelancer, especially when starting out, it can be tempting to take any work that comes your way. But with time and a bit of experience, you get to know which projects suit you, which you want to work on and which you don’t.

Of course it’s not all a bed of roses. There are some downsides to freelancing. The uncertainty of getting work is the biggest disadvantage or the fact that you can have quiet periods and then manic periods with lots on at once. Several times, I’ve wondered whether I should look for a permanent job which offers more stability, but the lulls don’t always last long and I need to remember to be patient and ride them out!

Ultimately most people like me love to freelance because of the flexibility it offers. Flexibility to work when you want, where you want and with whom you want. The biggest flexibility is the work life balance; to work and be around for the family. Of course, the juggling can still be tricky, especially if there’s a lot of work coming in at once or if a deadline is looming and the kids won’t go to bed! Bottom line, I’d still rather be doing this than anything else.

If you’re interested you can take a look at my other post about how to start out as a freelance copywriter.

Are you a freelancer? Is there anything else you’d add to my list? Are you considering freelancing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

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42 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Freelance

  1. I’ve often thought about going freelance as a writer but, even factoring in for savings in commuting costs and reduced stress, the numbers have never really stacked up for me. I *am* jealous of those who have had the courage to make the jump, though. Maybe one day in my semi-retirement … #KCACOLS

    1. I’m lucky that my husband is the main bread winner. Don’t think we could survive on my inconsistent wage patterns!

  2. Very encouraging post about going freelance and benefiting from the perks of working around school pick up etc. So often women feel they have to go down this route to get flexible working and it sounds like it’s working for you. #KCACOLS

  3. It’s amazing the lack of flexibility that some work places offer. Always wonder if its a control thing!
    Freelancing sounds like a good move,must have been a scary step to take! #KCACOLS

  4. I love the idea of freelancing and am going to look into this further for sure! I am horrified that your company were so inflexible. You need to make contact with Mothe Pukka! #BigPinkLink

    1. It’s good when you get the work but can be fairly unreliable with regards to a regular income! Better than no flexibility at all though! X

    1. Thanks Louise yes you’re probably in a similar situation to me where some days you wonder what you’re doing especially when the work dries up! But at least it is flexible!! X

  5. I joined my work place after having my first baby so they took me on at three days a week and I’m lucky that they’ve always been very flexible. If I hadn’t found this ‘dream job’ I would have been freelancing. It’s still something I am considering doing as my eldest approaches school ago. Being able to be there at both ends of the day would be lovely. It’s all a matter of making the pennies stack up #KCACOLS
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Monday Escapes 27/02/17My Profile

  6. I’m staggered by how backward some work places are. No flexibility is absolutely shocking. I’m so lucky that my work and my boss are very understanding. I currently work 3 days in the office and one from home. I would love to take the plunge and go freelance but I’m not sure I could deal with not knowing how much money was coming in month on month! Some great tips here.

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday x
    Maria recently posted…Interview with E, aged 6My Profile

  7. Freelancing is wonderful for all these reasons which definitely trump the whole angst of not knowing where or when the next job will come from! Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  8. I’m at the stage where I’m in conversation with my work about going back part-time and I have no idea how it’s going to work out… I would love to freelance and will definitely be reading your other posts as I think it might have to be an option on the table #coolmumclub

  9. I’ve been thinking about freelancing especially because there have been so many articles on it lately. It’s a bit intimidating though… thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  10. I agree with this, of course!! I’m lucky though to be both employed part time and then be freelancing on top of this. As you say, always a stress when you need to work and you can’t get the baby to sleep, but it’s also great being able to earn some pennies as and when you need to around your family. Visiting you today via #coolmumclub xxx
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…“What has he done with that Sausage?!” Ridiculous Things I Never thought I’d say, Part 3!My Profile

    1. Thanks Mrs L, I thought you might! You’ve got a nice balance. I miss the security of having a regular income but love the flexibility of working around the kids! X

  11. As my kids have grown into teens and have needed me less I have started to revisit my career options and have started to take some freelance projects, mainly through old contacts and friends. It is just pocket money but it is mine which is nice! #coolmumclub

  12. Great tips!These are the most interesting suggestions I’ve ever heard for freelancing.” I’ve never even heard of these
    websites, but they sound absolutely brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

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