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I made the leap to freelance for a dozen reasons, but at the very top of that list was the need to have an improved work/life balance, with a focus on life.
I don't want to sit at a desk from 9-5 every day, no matter how quickly I work, no matter if I actually have any work to do. When I did work 9-5, I spent many days surfing the Internet and scrolling through Facebook, feeling like I was wasting hours and hours of precious time.
Now, I have the one thing a 9-5 could never offer: freedom.
I can workout every day and take whatever class I want, even if it’s at 10:30 am. I can accept last-minute lunch invitations. I can always make Happy Hour.
I only get pedicures in the middle of the day, when there’s never a wait. I get my grocery shopping done in the middle of the day when nobody is at the store and have time to actually make—not buy on my way—appetizers to bring to book club.
My favorite part? I take time off whenever I please, without needing to give notice.
Sure, sometimes I just can’t say no to a project, AKA money, and the work piles up. I might find myself working into the night, or on weekends, and I lose track of my main goal.
It happens, but I don’t let it happen often.
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So hell no, I will not be working Labor Day, or any official USA holiday for that matter.
Why would I work on a day that I also would have had off in my old life? Why would I work on a day that most of my clients aren’t working?
Why would I pass up a chance to enjoy extra time with friends and family who don’t enjoy my flexibility, who work by the U.S. holiday calendar and can’t spend a random Monday by the pool with me because it’s just too hot to work?
Those are all rhetorical questions, by the way.
In fact, I’m taking my Labor Day one step further, one-upping corporate American and gifting myself an extra, extra day off.
I’ve booked a trip to visit a friend and in an effort to keep the cost of air travel down, I’m not flying home until Wednesday morning.
If you don’t take the “free” in freelancer literally, you’re not doing it right.
Jess Lander's favorite place to freelance is poolside. She lives in the Bay Area and specializes in writing, social media and all forms of content marketing.