Freelancing has no inherent advantages. That’s the whole truth of it. People have found success and satisfaction in both office and freelance work and the contributing factors often go well beyond basic work arrangements. What Freelancing DOES offer are opportunities - opportunities that, speaking broadly, are generally unique to independent, home-based arrangements. The fact that these are opportunities though instead of outright advantages should be especially telling: many facets of the freelancing lifestyle are critically linked to these opportunities being taken with little of the securities usually afforded by formal employment. Contending for these opportunities as a freelancer can mean the difference between a refurbished home office and a two-hour commute back to a 9-5 desk job.
To keep everyone from being caught unawares, we’ve flagged some of those facets of the Freelancing lifestyle where opportunities are yours to turn into advantages!
The Opportunity: No commute to the office, no commute from the office. No punching in, no punching out. Sure, your clients have deadlines for you but aside from the times when you absolutely need to meet them online, you can work as early in the day or as late in the evening as you want! Time is the key opportunity in freelancing and you will be its master or it will master you.
The Opportunity Missed: You’ve procrastinated for so long, you’re thirty minutes past your deadline with barely half the work done. Suffice to say, things took longer than you expected.
The Opportunity: If we’re not counting magic pills, fancy devices, and South Korean cosmetic surgery, the foundations to good health is sleep, diet, and physical activity. A home-based freelancing setup , given the time and attention, can be a great way of arranging your work day around things like healthy meal preparation, an exercise routine, and a decent amount of sleep. If you’ve ever thought about getting fit, this might be the time to do it!
The Opportunity Missed: Sometimes, not having the social pressure to get out of the house has been known to leave people without the personal interest to get out of their chairs. Pokemon Go has been groundbreaking in motivating the pathologically inert among us to engage in various forms of movement but it’s often said that even the best exercise routine can’t undo the damage of a diet that’s forty percent Coca Cola and thirty percent Oreos. And yes, when you’ve been alternating between procrastination and cramming, you probably won’t get your full eight hours on.
The Opportunity: As a freelancer, you are a law unto yourself. You decide how you present your work to clients, you decide how much you get paid, you get to decide when, where and how you’ll work and there is no middle-manager, critic, or go-between is there to obscure the full power of your creative vision to your client.
The Opportunity Missed: Not having anyone looming behind your back to point out your bad ideas may be great if you only have the best ideas all the time but it’s self-destructively awful when you don’t have the time, know-how, or technical ability to deal with your personal and professional shortcomings.
The Opportunity: You don’t have to be making mounds of cash to enjoy having greater freedom over how you spend it. You don’t have to pay for transportation every day for one thing and you don’t have to eat out very often either. Also, a lot of your profit goes directly to you and not through a larger organisation that may divvy it up among staff, facilities, and corporate bonding exercises that involve more falling-inline-turning-to-your-side-and-giving-the-person-next-to-you-a-back-rub than you were ever comfortable with.
The Opportunity Missed: On the one hand, you may realise that you actually needed those staff, facilities and corporate bonding exercise to be a financially viable artist (see above.) On the other hand, you can rake in a ton of cash and still end up blowing it all on a Black Friday Steam Sale. Freedom can do that to you.
The Opportunity: Instead of a cookie-cutter cubicle in a cookie-cutter office, you have a workspace all of your own! You get to decide what kind of environment feeds your creativity and productivity: reference material, decor, furniture, background music and video playlists and especially the choice of equipment that’s catered to you.
The Opportunity Missed: Some environs come with a hefty price tag and you’re still reeling from that savings-decimating Black Friday Steam Sale (see above.) Or maybe, buying space-age swivel chairs and elephant ivory computer keyboards is what drives you into debt. The worse problem though may actually come from successfully creating your workspace around you: if you become too comfortable inside a shell, you might never feel the need to outgrow it.
The Opportunity: In a country like the Philippines, particularly in a city like Manila, not having to commute gives you half your life back. If you work the usual 9-5 at home, you get a ton of extra time to be with friends and family… and that’s if they weren’t living with you already!
The Opportunity Missed: There is a reason why some people become workaholics: they’re trying to replace a difficult home-life with something that didn’t carry as heavy an emotional weight. Working in the midst of a troubled family situation may sometimes even be absolutely necessary without being anything less as a special kind of living hell.
The Opportunity: You are the Master of your Soul and the Captain of your Fate like if Henley’s Invictus was dedicated to only you. Ultimately, Freelancing is about being free to choose who you want to become while never being far out of touch from the reasons why. Being alone (as far as production is concerned) is both meant to keep you unburdened enough to be able to test your options and meant to test your integrity and resolve once you’ve chosen one. In Freelancing, it’s your career in your hands and I don’t even have to write down how many ways we can miss the opportunities to take control of it.
This blog though - the entirety of the Gunship Revolution Blog - is all about NOT missing these opportunities. There is so much that could be drawn from the life of a freelance artist and we believe we’ve all just barely scratched its surface. Will we find a spring of living water for whom one drink means one will never thirst? Or will we release Cthulhu instead? We hope we can all find out together.
Written by Marthy Angue, Vice President and resident optimist of Gunship Revolution.