Follow your heartHonestly, I am sick of hearing this phrase from people. Yes, I would love to follow my heart and become a full-time freelance copywriter. But unfortunately, life is getting in the way. A house, car and two kids that all need money in order to run effectively, means that giving up my paid employment is not an option at the moment. So, I am effectively working two jobs at once. As well as working my day job I am carrying out freelancing work any spare minute I can find. On the train to and from work, lunch time, in the evening and some on the weekend as well.
Is it fun working two jobs?Yes and no. The freelancing work I do is fun and I love the feedback I get from clients, but working as a freelancer alongside a day job is exhausting. I have to fit in the work around my family life and that means I can’t do as much as I would like. Plus, there are all the little extra things you have to do as well. Becoming a freelancer effectively means you become self-employed. You have to register as a sole trader with HMRC and make sure that you keep accurate financial records and keep a certain amount of money aside for tax. If you have always been an employee (like me) this takes some time to get your head around. Then, there is the task of building your company brand, designing a website, marketing your services, building up your social media following and most important of all, finding clients. At the moment I probably spend more time on these business development tasks then I do writing.
Short-term pain for long-term gainFreelancing is an incredibly competitive environment, there is always somebody who is more qualified or experienced than you are. But with saying this, I have found that I have received incredible support from other freelancers. Many of whom are going through a similar situation to me. They are working their day job to support their freelance work. Until the time comes when they earn enough from freelancing to support themselves. As one freelancer described it, it’s a short-term pain for a long-term gain. And, the gains are really worth it if you are prepared to work for them. As a freelancer I am looking forward to working with a variety of clients in different geographical locations, working on different projects, achieving a better work-life balance and (hopefully) earning more than I am currently. For the moment though I continue to work my towards my goal of being a full-time freelancer. Emma Saldanha has been freelancing for nine months and has worked in marketing for more than ten years.’she plans to continue working as a marketing executive until she can afford to go freelancing full-time.
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.