Posts tagged freelance
Old friends, new ventures

One of the more delightful parts of going freelance has been the outpouring of support from old friends and colleagues from various points of my life. Over the past few weeks, I have had at least twenty video chats or coffee dates with folks from every step of my decade-long career, spanning from the East Coast to West and even over to the UK. It’s not just enriching from a business development standpoint, but it’s lovely to catch up with awesome people I had lost touch with, yet always enjoyed being around and working with.

It’s also driven home the power of “networking.” I have always disliked that term, and as a more typically introverted person, I dreaded the act of meeting or connecting with folks with a goal in mind (ie to sell myself, or mine for work). But I didn’t previously realize that networking can happen in a completely authentic and mutually beneficial way. It’s an excuse to reconnect, share what we’ve been up to and see how we can help each other out. One potential outcome is that I may get to work with someone I truly appreciate and have an established rapport with. But even if the result is just a genuine, friendly catch-up, what’s not to love about that?

New-found freedom, or survivor's guilt?

I find it interesting that after being a 9-5 (or more like… 10-6 or later) office worker for the past decade, I’ve been trained to need to feel productive each weekday. And while I’ve certainly been personally productive this past week and a half, there’s still a sense of rebellion that I find surprising in this newfound daytime freedom. Just yesterday in the late morning, I went to Farley’s to pick up some funky magazines, where I sat and read them in the window seat for a few hours, nursing a golden latte. Something about this activity felt so luxurious and almost naughty, like I was getting away with a defiant indulgence. Who do I think I’m defying?! Only myself and the expectations that have been trained into me over the years. I’m interested to examine how my feelings change as I adjust to this new life I have chosen for myself.

Going Indie

I’m excited to announce that I have left my job at Hustle and am starting out on my own as an independent designer. I feel completely ready for this next step—years of agency experience has perfectly primed me to manage varied clients and projects, and I am intrigued by the lifestyle that freelance work can offer me. I plan to take it slow through the holidays so that I can enjoy a period of vocational freedom that I have never had in my adult life before ramping up into filling my time with work.

While I am very excited, striking out on one’s own comes with a certain amount of uncertainty and trepidation: questions are floating through my head such as: Will I get enough work in the door? Will I get to work on things I really enjoy or just have to take what comes my way? Will organizations value my time and contributions as an individual rather than part of a larger company? Will I be a good boss to myself? Will I handle my admin correctly? Will I get lonely working from home? Will I feel like I’m truly my own boss or will my projects start to rule me instead? I’m mitigating these quiet anxieties by intentionally giving myself some time and space to get my shit together—and it’s encouraging that without really any outbound marketing and very little networking I already have some inbound interest, which I’m certainly interested in exploring despite wanting to take time to relax and start slow.