Are freelancers born, or are they created? These are our top 10 signs that you were destined to rock the freelance life… perhaps from the very beginning.

1. When you were born, the doctor slapped… an invoice out of your tiny hand.

2. As a baby, you constantly escaped from your crib. They found you crawling towards freedom. “I weject the imposed wimits of dis system, Mama,” you lisped in your dulcet infantile tones.

3. As a toddler, your first steps were towards a steaming cup of coffee. Delicious, productivity-spurring coffee.

4. In preschool, you fomented a coup against the teacher. Playtime was equal parts revolution and networking, and you were only thwarted because they caught you encouraging your little friends to chant “Viva la Resistance” at naptime.

5. In kindergarten, you were disciplined for calling other children’s coloring books “derivative” and “trite.” “But their DESIGN concepts are so FLAWED,” you wailed as you were carried off to the principal.

6. When grownups asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you were speechless with the weight of possibilities.

7. Your report cards said that you were ‘creative’ and ‘self-motivated’ but you seemed to have particular difficulty distinguishing between playtime and work. “Why can’t I do my homework on the playground, or play in the classroom?” you’d ask. The adults wouldn’t have great answers.


Join the nation's largest group representing the new workforce (it's free!)

Become a member


8. You referred to your little collection of stick-figure drawings as your “portfolio” and regularly asked for critique.

9. As a teenager, you were either the hyper-social captain of every team and leader of every band… or the moody misanthrope*, making sarcastic comments about the football-industrial complex and counting the hours ‘til you busted out of that popsicle stand.

10. You hated your first teenaged day job with a passion – or, even if you didn’t, you suspected that you might be able to do better.

*Guess which one your author was. Hint: I wrote a lot of bad poetry in grades 9-12!

What early signs of the freelance life did you show?

Kate Hamill lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @katerone.


Comments