Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On Freelancing

I was afraid I would wake up this morning and think--what have I done? or just OMG! I'm unemployed! But remarkably, I did not. You see, I quit my job yesterday and this morning, for the first time in 9 years, I am not relying on getting paid to sit at someone else’s desk. I know many of you already experience this on a regular basis and have weathered the ups and downs of freelancing without flinching. I applaud you.

When I got out of college 11 years ago I did my first freelancing and loved the lifestyle. My aversion to things like planning for the future, getting up early, and budgeting soon caught up with me though. I like to think I’m older and wiser, and after processing mortgage loans for seven years, which I can almost say now without triggering my gag reflex, I have seen a lot of the consequences of not planning and budgeting.

I’m still ignorant of many of the things I’m sure I will need to know to make freelancing work for me, but I am ready to figure them out. I get up early, I sort of have a plan, and I have gathered my resources—newsletters and websites with job opportunities, the Writer’s Market, and most importantly, everyone I know. I left work for the last time yesterday with something unexpected—leads! When I told people I was freelancing and what my skills were, they were quick to point out a number of people they knew who might need me in the future. It’s like I was networking and I didn’t even realize it!

I missed the freelance lifestyle all the while I was working an 8-5 job, and trust me there were so many times I wanted to try it again. But the difference between just wanting to do it and feeling like now really is the time was undeniable to me. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. And I feel like I have enough resources at my disposal to get started.

I’d love to hear how you veteran freelancers got started! And I’d also love to hear from those who are considering trying it.



Jenny S. said...

Yay, Jennifer! I know you'll be so glad you took this brave step, and I wish you the best in your new freelance career.

Janie B said...

You are much braver than I. Congratulations and best wishes on your new life and career.

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations as you embark on this new career path. I'm sure you will do well and have great success.

Thoughts in Progress

Patricia Stoltey said...

I agree, you're very brave! I wish you lots of jobs, lots of clients, and great success.

Dan L said...

Wow! Or more like... WOW! I'd love to elaborate, and as a writer, I should be able to... But I really am stuck on... WOW!
Congrats Jen!!!

Kerrie said...

I have a feeling your bravery will payoff with some great freelancing gigs. Please keep us posted.

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