Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mythbusters, freelance edition

One of the most common misconceptions of freelancing shared by people who have "regular" 9-to-5 jobs is that freelancers make their own hours. "It must be great to work when you want," they say in envious tones.

The reality is I don't really have that much flexibility, and I don't always get a choice in the hours I work. I work when my clients work, and sometimes I work long after they've gone home. And even when I'm not doing billable work, I'm often working. Bookkeeping at 10:30 at night, when I finally remember where I put that receipt from Office Max. Updating my brochure on a Saturday afternoon, because I was struck by inspiration while taking a walk. Sometimes, I feel guilty scheduling a vacation or taking a lunch break.

Those last two are my own issue, as I'm sure my clients don't begrudge me a few days off or some afternoon sustenance. But my point is, a freelancer's life isn't something to be envious of--freelancing is a job, just like any other (except that I love this job, and I can't say the same thing about my previous positions). It has its positives and negatives, its risks and rewards. As long as the positives outweigh the negatives and the rewards outweigh the risks, I'll keep freelancing. If the tide should ever turn, you may find me talking dreamily about a 9-to-5 corporate position.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Kudos. Not many have their dream job AND realize it. :)

Lori said...

Take your lunch, hon. Covet the time and don't share it with clients. You've earned it. :) I'm so overworked right now that I AM taking tomorrow off. Okay, not entirely, but I'm going to putter along on an easier project in the morning, then head out into the sunshine. :)