It was precisely one year ago to the day that I launched this website and my business. At the time I didn’t know what to expect from freelancing – it had taken me a lot of time turning over the idea of taking the plunge before I got to that point. Would I find enough of the right work? Would the lifestyle suit me? Would I miss the consistency of the same team, the same days and hours, the same role? I was entering a world with a lot of uncertainty but also a lot of hope. One year into the gamble, I’m so glad I made the leap – this year has been a real learning curve and I’ve been so fortunate to work with some incredible charities and social enterprises along the way.
To mark the occasion, I thought I would write a little something about what I have loved most and what I’ve learned in my first year as my own boss.
I think this is probably one of the most notable bonuses of freelance life – getting to pick your own schedule and make your hours work for you. I have really enjoyed the ability to work from home more and break out of the 35 hour a week 9-5. On both a personal level – where it has allowed me more freedom to focus on writing and creativity – and from the perspective of my health, this has benefited me a lot. Given I probably spend the equivalent of one working day a week on health admin with my various appointments, it has been a blessing to be able to organise my time more freely.
At first, I thought of the freelance lifestyle being a short term option, something to suit my current circumstance, but now I’m not so sure I could turn back. I feel so much more relaxed, in spite of the lack of certainty month to month, and really enjoy working alongside so many brilliant people in the charity sector, which brings me to my next point.
I have always been someone who has craved variety in their work – I’ve been fortunate to work in organisations that have allowed me to explore wide ranging projects within one role. I think freelancing takes that to the next level, working on varied projects with several organisations at once keeps me on my toes, gives me lots to think about and challenges me intellectually and creatively. I also find working on discrete projects really rewarding – I like going in with a set timeframe and goals to aim for.
The way I’ve been working has also allowed me to meet so many fascinating people – from people I have worked alongside to volunteers I’ve trained and young people. I had been worried that freelance life could be quite isolating but I feel like I’ve managed to find a good balance between time spent working alone and time spent working with others.
Another of the benefits of working with several organisations in different roles is that it has really helped me to home in on what I most want to do and really begin to focus my approach and my business.
My passion for designing, developing and leading workshops and programmes has really come to the fore and I’ve been loving focusing more energy on working in this space. I’m so happy to be a facilitator for both Brook and Future First’s programmes in schools and can’t wait to spend my summer with FutureVersity as a Programme Tutor and Consultant in Tower Hamlets. Working with young people has always been my passion and I feel so energised to be doing what I love with so many amazing organisations.
Here’s to year two…