In the interest of following trends, sheeplike – I made my own. It’s unfunny and horribly obvious. But – this is my blog, so I do precisely whatever I want.
I might joke about it and piss and moan about it – but this really IS a fabulous job. A lot of the myths about freelancing are based in truth – because when it works, it’s a beautiful thing and a marvelous career and everyone should be jealous. When it doesn’t work – it sucks, but that goes for anything. When it’s good, it’s good – when it’s bad, it’s bad. Weird how that works, huh?
And without further prevaricating about the bush, I present to you the truths based on the myths…
The Top 100 Perks of Freelancing 61-70:
#70 – You Can Work Any Time You Want. Sounds great – and it’s TRUE! As a friend of mine once said “You get to pick any 80 hours of the week.” That’s the truth, folks – but you really are flexible. You can’t just slack 24/7, but you have the luxury of picking your hours.
#69 – You Don’t Have Anyone to Answer To. Yeah, right. Ever had 30 clients all at once demanding that something be done on Friday, and it’s 4:30 Thursday afternoon?
#68 – You Get Paid Tons Per Hour. Yes – I get paid a lot per hour to do what I actually do. Unfortunately, for every hour I can bill, I normally have about 2 hours that I can’t bill – administrative stuff, sales, promotions, etc. So, divide my hourly into thirds and you’ll start to get the picture. If I could BILL 40 hours a week, I’d be a very happy man. Well – even happier than I am now.
#67 – You Get to Pick What You Work On. To an extent, that’s true. But when you’re first starting or when things get lean, you lose a lot of that ability to choose. Needing to pay an electric bill will surely make you think long and hard about taking that crappy menu redesign. Know what I’m saying?
#66 – You Get Paid to Be Creative All the Time. See #68. I don’t consider billing and sales as being creative. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a huge fan of paperwork.
#65 – You Get Lots of Respect, Professionally. Yeah, sure. I get just enough respect from 10% of people who understand and value my skill to keep my psyche stoked enough that I don’t become suicidal when the other 90% of the people I come in contact with in the professional realm disrespect or belittle what I do. “Oh, you’re a graphic designer? Yeah – my nephew is, too. He’s got a fast computer and a copy of CS5!” I’ve actually had people say that to me. Tres Respectful!
#64 – You Can Work from Anywhere. Yes. This is true. But this can also be a drag. Ever tried to discuss sensitive business information or schmooze a client over the phone from a coffee shop? It’s louder than you think and the chairs aren’t always comfortable. Also – have you any idea how many graphic designers there are sitting in a coffee shop at any given time? I don’t want to give away my business secrets to “competition.” Working mobile is cool – but it’s really got a lot of downsides, too. And it can get expensive. But, I’m rolling in the dough, right?
#63 – You Don’t Have to Dress Up to Go to Work. No, I don’t. And it’s great. I can wear Black Flag tees and Chuck Taylors all day, every day. Chili stain on my shirt? BIG DEAL! Oh – until you run into a client who you’re trying to appear professional to. You might not have to wear a suit and a tie – but you can’t look like a complete bum. I know this from personal experience.
#62 – You Don’t Have to Deal with Co-Workers. You’re right. I don’t have to deal with the 10 other people in the office – I just have to deal with the hundreds of people that I’ve met and who have employed me. You might have to put up with some schmucks in your office, but at least you have a relatively finite number of people (and the problems attached to them) to deal with. I have hundreds of personalities to maneuver around. There’s something to be said about the regularity and predictability of the insanity you have to put up with, too.
#61 – No Boss. Wrong again. I’ve got a hundred bosses, plus I’m my own boss. And as a boss, I’m a complete jackass, too. Worse than your boss.