Here’s the thing…….

The Truth

For you to thrive in the freelance world, you’re going to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

What I mean by that is simply that you’re going to have to be more aggressive. That might be the norm for you, but it’s a critical part of whether or not you’ll get the interview, the job, or the promotion.

I am classified as an ambivert- so neither strongly extroverted nor introverted. But I do have moments where I just don’t want to human nor communicate, and sometimes that happens when it’s time to either get the job or get the job done. Over the years I had to learn how to “switch off” those moments and push to accomplish what I need to.

I had to learn to be uncomfortable and function within it. I had to learn to be okay with having to do short notice video interviews (always worried that I looked worse on camera than in person) and having to mainly self-train when I started jobs that weren’t wholly prepared for the difference in training methods for home-based staff. I had to learn to speak up when there were needs for improvement. I had to learn to be aggressive about chasing down gigs and full time jobs and telling people what my time is worth.

And sometimes that breaks people.

If you are the type that needs some level of coddling or things being handed to you, this will be difficult (and cumbersome) for you. By “this”, I mean finding sustainable work or sources of revenue that allow you to work from home. Matter of fact, most people that have asked me to help them find home-based work generally give up after a few days because it’s such an uphill battle.

Family Life & Relationships

Honestly, the decision to dedicate to working from home full time will change everything at home. Maybe it’ll be more subtle, but it’ll change.

My relationship with both my partner and his kids was strained for the longest because of a simple thing that became an issue: YouTube. Oftentimes I’d need to work a job where I had to be able to answer phone calls via my computer, which required a decent connection. So, the usual Saturday evening of streaming videos became taxing and pretty much destroyed the bandwidth. Spare having an entirely new line put in or buying 10 gigs of data at a time (both costly ventures), I had to insist that everyone was more mindful of the data usage in the house while I was working. Changing what was routine caused a lot of stress for everyone.

It also impacted my relationship because my hours became erratic, or I’d never fully detach from the work. Most times when my phone makes a notification sound, I’ve either gotten a sale for services or a new job offer….even requests to cover shifts for others. It caused our schedules (since he’s a traditional 9-5 type of guy) became horribly out of sync whenever I’d take roles for companies in other parts of the world. I had to make sure to start dedicating blocks of time to just us. It sounds silly to have to schedule dates and such, but that’s what it boiled down to.

 

Social Woes

I’ll be 100% honest here: it’s going to change your social life a bit. You will become more aware of expenditures and start to weed out those excessive outings you used to go on all the time with friends. Your tastes will likely shift from dining out to pulling out that food delivery app and Netflix-ing it. And you will learn to loathe being in the house as much as you are.

I still assure you it’s worth it, but it definitely takes a more concentrated effort to maintain a social life when a lot of our daily socializing can actually center around workplace peers. So what I suggest here is making sure to maintain some level of free time and make a plan. Apps like Meetup are fantastic for finding local events to jump into, and maybe even other home-based pros that can totally understand your struggle. But it’s important to not let the work and the house consume you whole to the point where you forget to human and connect with others.

 

In the end….

Would I do it differently? Not at all. But let my experience be your lesson. Working from home can be a blessing and a curse- but you can control the negatives by making sure to still retain some time for you and your loved ones. Set boundaries with everyone early. Remember that your household can’t center around you exclusively, and sometimes you just have to meet in the middle.

 

Sara

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