This won’t be the case with everybody, because we all have our own individual preferences and desires. Some people prefer the structure and predictability of a standard office position, whereas others are looking for something more dynamic and free-flowing.
When I first decided to be a freelance writer, I found myself justifying this choice to many of the people in my life. My dad didn’t really understand what it meant, giving me backhanded encouragements. He would say that working from home was fine “for now” and it would help to sustain me until I “got a real job.” I kept telling him that it is a real job. It was only when he saw I was consistently making more money as a freelancer than in any full-time position I had held in the past that he started truly to respect my choice.
With my career in freelancing, I have the opportunity to enjoy three very critical freedoms.
The Freedom of Location
I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily a busybody, but I do have a tendency to get restless. One of the greatest freedoms of freelancing is that of location. So long as I have my laptop and a reliable Internet connection, I am able to get some work done. It doesn’t matter if I set up camp at the local coffee shop or at some swanky Las Vegas hotel, because I am able to continue communicating with my clients and earning my money.
This isn’t quite the same situation as the traveling executive, because he needs to go where his company tells him to go. For me, I have the freedom to choose where I want to work. If I want to go for a trip to Japan or Australia, I can do that and continue to work should I choose to do so.
The Freedom of Personal Reward
When I worked at a regular job, it was difficult to stay motivated. There was no direct relationship between the calibre of my work and the size of my paycheque. The amount of pay that I received each day was exactly the same, regardless of whether I slacked off all day or if I put in 110%. Some positions, like those that are commission-based, are different of course.
With freelancing, I have the opportunity to maximize my income. I’m not working “for the man,” because I am working for myself. Every achievement or victory is a personal one.
The Freedom of Time
By far the best freedom that comes with freelancing is the freedom of time. Assuming that I partake in a little forethought and planning, I have a much more flexible schedule than if I held a more conventional job with some conventional company. I can take a three-hour lunch break with no real negative ramifications. It just means that I’ll be making up those hours later in that day or week. It is easier for me to accommodate a dentist’s appointment or trip to the park.
With this freedom, I can choose to work on a holiday in exchange for a day (or two) off a little further down the line. I’m not working less than my office-bound counterpart (I could be working more); it’s just that my schedule is generally more flexible.
The Price of Freedom
With great power comes great responsibility, and with greater freedoms also come greater responsibility. As a freelance writer, the onus is on me to stay on task, stay focused, and stay motivated. There is no supervisor or manager hovering over my shoulder. The strong work ethic must come from within and not from a fear of punishment.
There is a price for these freelance freedoms, but I’m glad to pay it.