What motivates someone to work as a freelancer? I think that it often isn’t an abundance of confidence or any type of a business plan. No, the decision to freelance can be similar to the inspiration of invention- based on a necessity.
Many freelancers go at it alone because they need to. Perhaps they needed to find a job and one suited to their skills wasn’t available. Maybe they are unable to work in a corporation due to discrimination, lack of access, or personal choice. There are even some people that choose to freelance because their abilities are too unique to fit a traditional job role. Basically, freelancers go at it alone because they have to.
Many times I think about what motivated me to start freelancing. Although my current situation is rather new, technically, freelancing was my second job. I began freelancing at The Charlotte Post as a sales person. It was my second job (while in college) after a 1 year part-time career in telemarketing. It quickly grew into a writing position.
At first I didn’t understand the big deal of having my own route, my own customers, and my own tax liability. It wasn’t strange because my father had lived that way my entire life. It wasn’t until my next job in computers that I realized the difference. While beginning my experience in technology sales, I longed for the emotional reward that I received while freelancing.
Working for one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world had its benefits for sure. I received industry training in computer hardware, everyday people considered me an expert, and there were the benefits of course. But, what that job didn’t offer – one that I’d always received while freelancing for the Post – was emotional gratification. I needed the reward from doing a good job, and while my customers regularly gave it to me, my company never did.
I moved from computer hardware, to cell phones, to software, to online retail- all the while staying close to those who’d validate my efforts (the customers). Though my regular jobs fulfilled a financial need, deep down, I wanted something more. I felt like I had a job- I wanted a career.
So I got back into freelancing- only a little at first, then completely at one point while working in event marketing. I was happy, but society frowned upon my decision. Believing I was a failure because I found no joy in my fortune 500 jobs, I tried it one more time… this time staying 3 years- only to crash harder than I’d ever crashed before.
I now know I was meant to be a freelancer- I was meant to explore and build using all of my talents, not just the ones the job entailed. My career was doing what I was passionate about- whatever that may be- and supporting my family with it. Isn’t that the ideal?
I definitely understand that everyone isn’t designed to be a freelancer- but those that are, should give up trying to fight it. I have.
Now, I no longer work; I finally have a career.