Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Perks of being a Freelancer

Having only graduated a year ago i'm still in a very up and down, ever changing phase of my life. This especially affects my career! I got a job at Starbucks just after handing in my dissertation (A look at how the rise of fashion bloggers has affected the content of womens fashion magazines), this was brilliant as it meant lots of free coffee, I made some brilliant friends and it did the very important job of enabling me to stay in Liverpool and get a flat instead of joining the hundreds of other graduates moving back in with Mum and Dad! Retaining my independence will always be a priority for me. Anyway, I then left Starbucks when I found out they weren't paying any tax...oh no wait, that's a lie. I left to do a 3 month placement in PR & Marketing at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. This was challenging, busy, informative, emotional and fun. 

That placement ended last month and left me at a slight crossroad, do I carry on in that direction and get a PR job, do I try and increase the freelance writing I already do so its enough to live off? Then came 7 days of interviews, phone calls home and much soul searching. The result is, I am now a freelancer. I have enough regular work to pay my rent with a bit left over for coffee and more importantly, I have the flexibility now to dedicate more of my efforts to r.a.j.e. I suppose i'm telling you this for two reasons 1) As a bit of a hint of bigger and better things to come from r.a.j.e. and 2) To outline some of the Perks of being a Wallflower turned Freelancer to those of you who may be considering it. 

Perk 1: Anywhere and everywhere is your office, the local indie cafe, your bed, the studio you rent...

Perk 2: Manage your own diary. Since being a freelancer I have been swimming, cycling and walking a lot more, i've also seen more of my friends and had more head space to make social arrangements. You only have to care about what you actually want to care about. It's fantastic. 

Perk 3: No dress code! I tend to still wear workwear as it helps me to be in the mindset of work, but I know people who work best in leggings and a slouchy top or jeans. The beauty is, it's up to you.

Perk 4: See more of your city. You don't have to just go from home-office-Tesco-home. Fancy a day working with a view of the docks? Go for it. Or a day working with a friend in a noodle bar? Do it!

However, my Journalism degree would have been a waste if I didn't paint a fair story. You do have to be prepared to motivate yourself, you do have to do tax returns and it can get lonely being alone with your Macbook all day. Also the future can be a bit daunting, what with an unreliable income and the increased difficulty with mortgages etc. 

All in all though, life's too short to spend it working somewhere you hate or for a company you have no respect for. I for one am really happy to be able to call my time my own again and to be working solely on projects I can with integrity put my heart into. 

Any other freelancers out there? 

R x

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