I’ve finally come to the difficult decision to stop freelancing as my main job, and return to being a full time employee. There were a lot of things that I loved about being a freelancer, but there were things that I liked less as well. Ultimately it just wasn’t heading in the direction that I had hoped it would be at this point, four years since I started freelancing as my main gig. At various milestones I took the time to look at how I was doing and made the decision to stick with it, but this time the negatives outweighed the positives enough to call it quits. Mostly it came down to wanting something simpler, where I wear a smaller number of hats (as opposed to designer, developer, illustrator, accounts manager, trainer, tech support, bookkeeper and a heap more). I’ve decided I’d like to just focus on my design work – the stuff that I’m actually good at – and get paid for it without having to deal with all the business stuff. In other words, a standard job.
Through some lucky circumstances (and, I like to think, through my networking and good reputation) I’ve landed an awesome job within a week of beginning to search for one. I’m currently on a three month contract, but have my fingers crossed that it will be somewhere I can stay in the long term. I don’t want to jinx things by writing much about it here whilst I’m still on trial, but there’s some really cool people and fun projects – cant really ask for more than that! My new office is also right near the beach, so I’ve been making visits there on my lunch break to dip my toes in the sand. Getting used to a daily commute is a bit of a struggle, but these long train and bus rides are giving me a chance to read books and get a bit more creative with using my iPad Mini as a mobile work station (would anyone be interested in a post on that?). I’m continuing to freelance after-hours, which means that my spare time is going to be pretty limited, but I’m hoping I can make this work!
I don’t like to consider this a defeat – more an admission that the freelancing lifestyle is simply not appropriate for me at this time in my life. I think that it’s definitely possible to make it work if you you have a knack for business, time-management and bringing in the clients, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. I feel like I’ve done pretty well to stick with it for so long – most small businesses fail within their first year – but I’m looking forward to this new adventure. Wish me luck!