With a new year, comes new resolutions and sometimes a new career path.
I’ve been thinking about cons and pros about freelance work vs. a full-time job for some time now. Honestly, I prefer to work for someone else and within a team, other than to work for myself exclusively. I’m a natural chatter and I enjoy working with others, but I still might give it a try.
I’ve always been curious about freelancers and how they manage to balance everything. From finances to communicating with clients, to promoting their job to ensure more work. They do it all by themselves.
So, while I was doing some research, I discovered Freelance TV and I got to kill some of my curiosity.
This is a project by Dann Petty, a freelancer, who’s been traveling the US to conduct interviews with freelancers. In his own words: “All with one goal, to learn how to become the best freelancers by hearing real world stories straight from the mouths of actual freelancers.”
I’ve watched a couple of episodes and from what I can tell, these freelancers are willing to tell the bad and the ugly about freelancing.
What I’ve learn from the interviews
On the very first episode, Dan Mall talks about the advantages of working with as many people as you like but also the responsibility of managing everything: “You’re the CEO but you’re also the janitor.” He also refers that a big part of being a freelancer is about promoting the work and being able to communicate properly.
On the other hand, Ash Huang (on episode nº 2), a current full-time worker in Adobe, says that she enjoyed the possibility to choose the projects that were the most interesting ones when she was a freelancer. She also believes that in order to succeed, it’s important to be organized and self-motivated.
Both designers agree that everyone can be a freelancer as long as there is a curiosity about it and some willingness to make sacrifices. They also say that it is possible to make twice the money, but it requires some previous financial support. Dan, for instance, worked two full-time jobs during a year before going solo. And Ash recommends saving the amount of money equivalent to 6 months of expenses (and still might not be enough).
Freelance isn’t a walk in the park
These two interviews gave me a fresh perspective on freelancing. I could tell that not everything is perfect when you work alone (it’s quite the opposite). There can be a real pressure to get more clients, find more projects and pay the bills. On the other hand, once you have settled and have more financial stability, you can choose the people that you want to work with and the projects that you like the best.
If are considering freelancing, check out the interviews that I’ve mentioned and see more episodes. You can also contact Dan Petty to support his documentary about freelance or to ask him some questions.
As for me, I’ll be seeing more on Freelance tv before making a decision.