I just recently entered the freelance world out of necessity and opportunity. My husband and I relocated to Rhode Island, and we had to make the decision for me to leave my corporate job so he can take advantage of a really awesome opportunity with his company. I was initially considering finding another corporate type position, as I had solid work experience in my field, and then things took a turn when we realized we are going to have a baby! After a few weeks of mulling over my options and putting in my leave notice, I decided I would seek out contracts and work for myself. This decision was not an easy one; in fact, this decision was quite scary because I did not have the comfort of a stable paycheck with any sort of added benefits a typical full-time job provides. I was entering a world of uncertainty with a move across the country and a baby on the way… a lot of changes were happening in a very short period of time. However, the thought of taking on a new, fast paced and potentially stressful job seemed out of reach to add into the mix.
I took a look at the experience I had with technical writing, instructional design, training development, and the accomplishments I made through my work experience and decided that I AM ENOUGH. I can do this. Pep talk, pep talk, pep talk…. After a few weeks of ‘crickets’ from attempting to contact agencies to land a few contracts, I got in touch with a former employer who was looking for an Instructional Designer. Just like that everything fell into place THREE DAYS before I flew up to Rhode Island. At this point, I allowed the outside forces of the world let everything happen the way it is meant to be and began to let go of the worry of ‘how is this going to work out?’
I had no idea how involved my corporate job was until I left. I traveled at least 50% to a few locations in the southern region and often took a pit stop at corporate headquarters in between trips. I worked from home the other part of the time to get ahead on managing projects and completing writing assignments. My husband also traveled for work so our time together was hit or miss. We saw each other most if we scheduled a vacation, but we barely had time to do the laundry, clean house, or even have a sit-down dinner in our own home. With all the time we spent road running for work, our decisions were often made for us. I was so exhausted on the weekend that anything that required leaving the house or socializing became a chore. Even yoga. I love Yoga. Now all of that has changed.
The awesome and awful thing about working from home doing contract work is that you don’t have to leave your house (EVER. Have you heard of Amazon?!). You control what time you wake up to work, how long you work for (unless there is a deadline approaching), and when you shower, cook, or clean. I am finding a balance with all of these new again life parameters I now have control over. Honestly, it wasn’t going so well for awhile, as moving across the country and unpacking boxes upon boxes can get pretty tiring. I slept in, ate cereal and sometimes didn’t wear pants. Now that I’ve decided to call upon my old friend, discipline, everything is going much better. I put in solid hours at a time of work but also take time for breaks and healthy meals. I appreciate all the hours in the day I have to make my own decisions and take advantage of slowly sipping a cup of coffee in the morning, going for a walk to keep my pregnancy weight in check, and cooking dinner before my husband gets home. Life has become very sweet and simple with a side of discipline.
One last thing about the freelance world- I have a job that I really enjoy because I choose the type of work I want to do. I have the freedom to turn down any work that I’m not interested in. I have fully accepted that I am a learning content developer and a writer that can make an impact where people have a business or academic need and graciously allow me to serve a purpose, even if it’s just for a little while.