I went through my studies without a clear picture about what I wanted to do. When I finally received my diploma, everyone thought that I’ll just go on to become what the diploma said I was, but I somehow… Didn’t want to 🙂
So one day, sitting at home, I made a small wish, to be able to make a living by doing something I can do wherever and whenever I want to. So, whether it was my own office, or the comfort of my bed, or in the shower, I wanted to be the one to decide. And here I am, 6 years later, sitting on my bed in my pajamas, and writing this. Among other things. That’s writing, blogging, copywriting, PR-ing, stuff that requires a) a laptop, b) me.
And it’s been wonderful. I’m giving you a list of personality features that might make this type of work the best choice for you.
1. You’re a free spirit.
Being shut in an office will probably make you gray and miserable, especially if you have to share it. During those short periods of time when I shared an office even with the nicest of people, all I could think about was how to get out. How many things I could do if I was out. ‘So many activities… If only I wasn’t stuck here’. All of those jobs never lasted long.
Having the luxury to choose my own work space is one of the best things that ever happened to me, career-wise. I don’t have to do small talk, I don’t have to worry if the sound my bracelet makes when hitting the keyboard is bothering anyone, and I certainly can take as many bathroom, lunch, coffee, Instagram, coffee, movie, and coffee breaks as I like 😉
2. You don’t respond well to authority (especially if it’s fake).
There probably is such a thing as a perfect boss, but just how many of us can get so lucky? There are certain people who work very hard on putting themselves above you, and while some people take it as the natural way of things, I am absolutely allergic to that. It’s not that I can’t stand someone being above me, as much as hate the fact that people think they own you and your time if they pay you for something. On the other hand, I appreciate people who value your service and know that they pay you because they need you, as much as you need them. I learned that this happens more often if you keep your distance as a freelancer. And when you get to choose your colleagues wisely.
It also means you can just stop working and go out, come back at midnight and work again – and no one will tell you you’re not allowed to do that 😉
3. You need more sources of income.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that your writing gig will make you a millionaire, but you can’t expect to get rich by doing just one job, if that’s your goal. Having multiple gigs and clients means more sources of income, which means more money for nice things, and this is easier to achieve if you’re in control of your working hours.
I do most of the things at night. That’s when my inspiration flows, that’s when I decide to stop procrastinating and that’s when I have more privacy to do whatever I want. At night. The opposite of the widely-accepted working hours for so-called ‘day jobs’. It’s how I like it. It’s veeery important to do things the way you like them. Super-important. But that’s another post.
4. Your life is filled with activities that don’t fit in a normal job.
For example, I get up, and I have to drink coffee first. During that coffee drinking, I might notice my paint brushes and canvas and I might feel like painting a little. Then, I’ll get an e-mail notification with a work-thing and I’ll do that. And then I’ll decide that it’s been a while since I made a video and edited it immediately. I might consider a new banner for my blog and make it. Or a new cover for my book. Or a new shoe design. So I grab my iPad. I draw. I receive another e-mail notification for a job. I do that, and then finish the thing I didn’t finish yesterday. Etc, etc.
I don’t think anyone would put up with my daily activities, or the fact that there are days when I choose not to do anything, and leave everything for an hour before the deadline.
5. You like your airports.
Whenever I am offered a steadier job, where I have to oblige to go to a certain office and answer to a certain person, I immediately panic about not being able to travel whenever I want. Even if there is no such thing planned in near future, when I hear the words ‘the working hours in the office are from… and we sometimes work on Saturdays’ my head explodes with hundreds of ideas of where I could be, and go, and how I planned to go to Barcelona next month… At moments like that, running away seems like the best option :).
I don’t necessarily have to go to Barcelona that following month. But I like keeping my options open.
It does, however, have its cons. They’re not bad enough to make me change my mind, but there are times when I simply want to scream. Like,
– When you live with other people, and they just don’t understand that you ARE WORKING, and find it convenient to talk to you about the least important things, like ‘where’s my spatula?’
Like, I have no idea, and I don’t care because I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF WRITING COPY FOR A CLIENT.
-When you get so used to working alone and not leaving the house, you forget what it’s like to socialize. You also lose your will to get dressed up and go out, which is a little shitty.
Oh, drinks? I, uh… I’m sick.
-When you’re not disciplined enough to make yourself sit down, so you procrastinate until the last night of deadline, and you work all night, and you cry.
WHY do I do this to myself?!
-When people think they have you all figured out, thinking you’re lazy and don’t have anything better to do but to DO THEIR THING FIRST.
Why not do this for me now, it’s not like you have to go to work tomorrow.
If you found yourself in some of this, maybe my way is actually your way too. I didn’t always have the luxury to choose what to do, but in time, you create your connections and circumstances, and it just may happen for you to organize your life the way you want to. Right now, the only job that would make me leave the house would be very closely related to a movie set.