Though I’ve had full time, part time, and one-off clients for the past 15 years, I was strictly an independent contractor throughout that time. Freelancing allows me to choose the clients I want to work with, set my own rates, and be flexible with my time. It can be feast or famine, and not all clients are a joy to work with, but freelancing served me well over the years.
I recently began looking into leaving the home to work full time in a nearby office. It’s not really what I want but sometimes the reliability of the full-time office job appeals to me more than hustling for new clients. However, it wasn’t until we had a medical emergency in our family, that I realized the importance of freelancing for my particular situation.
In which tragedy strikes
On March 23 of this year, my husband had a stroke. Though he’s making a remarkable recovery, he’s been in the hospital, inpatient rehab, and after six weeks away I’m now taking him to outpatient rehab and appointments on an almost-daily basis. I don’t know how I could have been there for my husband as he heals and rebuilds if I had a full-time job. I don’t know if I could be a reliable, productive member of a team with all this on my head.
During this time I’m taking on quickie writing projects that I can do while waiting at the rehab center or during in between times. Of course, that didn’t leave much time for personal projects (like this blog), but at least I was able to take on a client or two.
For me, at this point in time, freelancing is a life saver and no brainer. As a freelancer I can:
- Choose quick projects that I can do when I’m not needed elsewhere.
- Set my own pay rates.
- Work the hours that are best for our particular situation.
- Not have to worry too much about a significant loss of income.
- Continue to grow my portfolio and client base.
I don’t have job security in the traditional sense, but I have a different type of security. I have the peace of mind in knowing that I can still help to support my family while taking care of a loved one. I also don’t have worry of losing a full-time job hanging over my head.
I may rethink my situation when things get back to normal. But for me? Freelancing means I’m here for my family – in more ways than one – at a time when it’s needed most.
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