This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
In a recent post on my blog I wrote about ways to increase your job security. In addition to investing in career coaching, another suggestion I made was to quit your job and start your own thing. But not everyone can do that, at least not right away. And the ones who can usually don’t think it’s a feasible option. (Most of them are wrong.)
But as I stated in my blog post, I feel like I have more job security having my own freelance business than I ever did working for the state’s largest private employer where there were constant hiring freezes and multiple firings.
One of my colleagues who also now works as a freelancer said the same thing to me. She left a high-level position at a multi-national power management company without knowing yet what her next career move was. She later started her own consulting company and now feels more in control of her career than ever before.
So, while the title of this post says I sacrifice security to be my own boss, I don’t really feel like I’m sacrificing that at all. Instead, I feel like I’m gaining job security by being my own boss. But, I still get asked the question all the time, “What made you decide to sacrifice a full-time job with benefits to be your own boss?” There are several reasons why.
I get to be the boss!
I get to call the shots and decide how I want to run things, which allows me to use my creativity and I don’t have to go through a bunch of red tape just to get an idea approved. If I want to try something new, I can. If it doesn’t work, I can tweak it or try something else. It’s so refreshing to be able to have carte blanche over my own work.
I get to choose who I work with.
No longer am I stuck working for a micro-managing boss, a slacking co-worker, or a non-committal client. I get to be selective in who I work with. My work thrives when I can work with those who are open-minded, curious, adventurous, respectful, and professional.
I get to choose which hours I want to work.
I’m the type of person who gets spurts of energy at various times throughout the day. Some days I’m a morning person. Other days I’m a night owl. Because I have control over my schedule, I can work at the times when I’m most productive, and take breaks whenever I need to recharge by going paddle boarding or for a walk.
Also, because I get to make my own schedule, I can go get groceries when the store is least crowded!
I get to determine my own worth and value and set my own rates.
Never again do I have to work a job where I’m underpaid for my education and experience.
I can work from just about anywhere.
I often meet with clients in person, but several of them are out-of-state or unable to meet in person so we do so over the phone or computer. This allows me to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. In fact, next month I’ll be presenting a webinar to people in Nashville while I’m on a beach trip to Florida. The beauty of this freedom is I can work from home if I want to, from a coffee shop, and even from a hammock!
If working for yourself sounds appealing and you want to know if it’s a possibility for you, I encourage you to utilize the resources here on Freelancers Union's site and talk to other freelancers like myself. Together we can determine if you possess the skills needed to be successful working for yourself.
Lori Bumgarner is a freelance career coach helping clients pursue their passions and make the transition to freelance work. She is the owner of paNASH, a passion and career coaching service (www.yourpassioninlife.com). She is also one of the co-founders of Nashville’s Freelancers Union SPARK.