Oh to be a freelancer. The term "freelance" for many that may not know, essentially means you work for yourself under a variety of businesses. Instead of just working in one role for one brand it allows you to be lets say a journalist for tons of publications instead of just one. Whether it's writing, visuals, buying or designing there is a freelance role for anything. But it's not all lie ins and lunch dates, believe me. This post is going to be the real truth behind being a freelancer / working for yourself, bursting the Instagram highlights reel and bringing us all back to reality.
For me personally the good definitely out weighs the bad, I know there will be people reading this thinking "God, freelance life is not for me!" But there may be one of you contemplating starting. My top three pieces of advice to you are:
- Stay organised, always. Everyone is human and mistakes will inevitably be made along the way but the more you stay on top of your schedule, timings, to do lists etc the easier your life will be. Trust me.
- Keep connected. Whatever the industry you are looking to freelance in, make sure you are always looking and researching for new things that may pop up in the news, social media. Always chatting new people, collaborating with different individuals. Keep yourself current.
- Confidence. Have the confidence within your self to know that YES you are capable of doing that job, but not too much confidence that you are cocky about it.
- Be True To Yourself. As a freelancer you have to be very aware of who you are, your branding and what you want to achieve. Make sure you are staying true to that and not copying others, keep your own ideas flowing and be inspired, but never duplicate!
I don't want this to be a negative space harbouring my woes of working in the freelance world so let's begin lightly. Here are some of the things I find are amazing about working for myself / freelancing.
- Life Management. I am an absolute control freak when it comes to my own schedule, I like to know what I am doing each day at what time, there is a list for everything. For me I love being able to control my week and tailor make it to how I like to work.
- Everywhere Is My Office. Although I now have a designated office in my home (another part I love is working from home) if I fancy popping to London for the day or maybe even a trip to Spain, I will always be able to work on the go.
- Boredom? What's That. One thing I realised recently is I am never bored of what I am doing, as someone that tends to fall out of love with things very quickly it's essential that I have a career that means I am always on to new things and delving into unknown areas to challenge myself.
- Feeling Fulfilled. Being able to work with many clients and produce work for them that is up to their standards is such a huge sense of achievement, I love being able to help people and when I am using my knowledge to do this it is even better.
- Balancing Work & Play. My life is so flexible, if I want to take the afternoon off on a Wednesday to go for lunch I can, but it just means the next day I will wake up a few hours earlier or go to bed a few hours later to catch up. Being able to balance my work and social life and almost combine them is amazing for me.
One of the main highs for me being a freelancer is that I can manage a lot of projects at once, because you have all the time. I work from home so I don't need to travel and a lot of my work, although is in different areas it all merges really well. This meant that while I was at University I could manage my freelance work with starting a business, my influencer work over on @laurengracelifestyle and my final major project.
- Subconscious Stress. I am a seriously organised person with constant time plans and lists so I stay on track with everything at once, but it doesn't mean this doesn't get overwhelming. I recently have been suffering with subconscious stress, I call it this because I don't physically or even mentally feel stressed, I am falling asleep really easily, I don't have a lot on my mind but my body is becoming effected, my eyelashes actually started falling out a month or so ago when I was in peak final degree and starting my new business phase while still working for my previous freelance clients. It was a lot and I didn't take many breaks, trips away were for work and I don't think I actually stopped once. Something I need to learn to do is balance my stress levels, just because I don't feel it doesn't mean it's not happening.
- Signing Your Life Away. This statement is pretty bold (I just thought it had a good ring to it) but it is fairly true in some aspects of my job it is 24/7. Managing social media accounts means you must be uploading posts at certain times of the day, engaging with content, staying present on email, it never really stops.
- No Digital Detox Round Here. Recently there has been nothing more I would love than a digital detox for the day, but it just isn't plausible, when you have multiple Instagram accounts to manage for clients at various times of the day, you have to be with your phone constantly. I find this a little draining sometimes so I try to take breaks from my phone and when I eat lunch / dinner I never work at the same time.
- Instability. Another quite major factor of working freelance / for yourself is the instability, you don't have a set wage coming in every month to pay your outgoings so you need to make sure you are set up in a way that means you won't run low on money one month. Whether this is by having a bread and butter income on the side of your main career or setting up a savings account and ensuring you pay into this.