According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, 1 in 7 of all freelancers are working mums. This got me thinking, if I’m self-employed, I bet a lot of my readers are too, so I thought I’d share with you some of my best and worst bits about being a freelancer.
The thing about being a freelancer AND a mum, is that you have to be organised. Depending on the complexity of your business, being self-employed requires excellent organisation skills. From the work itself to selling, marketing, accounting, legal, business strategy and more, there’s lots more to being a freelancer than just providing services or products, so it’s important to make sure that you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, otherwise it could spiral out of control. And then there’s the kids to think about! – I highly recommend keeping on top of things the best you can….I say this with 2 kids off school poorly and a tax return to file at the last minute yet again – this is the last year I leave this to the last minute again (yes I know I said that last year too)..I need to take my own advice that’s for sure!
On the flip side of this, you can also structure your own day. If you need a haircut, a holiday, a visit from the electrician, then you don’t have to schedule it around your work day. If you know that you work best in the morning, or you need to take the morning off to focus on the kids or to watch their school assembly, then you can make sure that your day reflects that.
While being a freelancer to most of the outside world seems great, there are some that won’t be so keen, particularly credit lenders. Most credit lenders want to know whether you’ve got a consistent income, so they can judge whether you’re a safe bet or not. For freelancers, providing this proof can be difficult, especially if you haven’t been doing for very long. Luckily, there are some brokers that are sympathetic to your cause. For instance, if you’re looking for a loan for a car, a car finance company like motor finance 4u could make the whole process much easier.
One of the main cons of being a freelancer, and especially if you work at home as opposed to being in the office, is that I can get pretty lonely by myself all day. There are lots of things that you can do to combat that though. From finding a local co-working space to scheduling lunch dates, it’s important to have a little of human contact from time to time. Freelance friends are important – you need some to have a Christmas party with or to celebrate a big win – I do find myself very jealous of the office parties come Christmas time but do find that heading to a coffee shop to work or even the library does help to combat my loneliness.
Be careful that you don’t get too much play time, however, and end up losing work time – yes once the kids were finally back to school after the summer holidays I did find myself binge watching Pretty Little Liars a little too much then having to catch up with work once they were in bed. Although you may find that some of your friends and family end up calling you for a casual chat or popping over for tea when really you should be working, but If you set expectations from the beginning, your loved ones will know that freelancing doesn’t mean that you don’t really have a job.
So how many of my readers are freelancers? What’s your biggest struggle working from home? – I tend to also find I am distracted by household chores so load the dishwasher while checking emails and can’t seem to catch a clear hour where the postman/courier isn’t knocking on the door which can be very distracting as I then need to open that parcel and lose my train of thought in whatever I am writing at the time.
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