Though I’ve had full time, part time, and one-off clients for the past 15 years, I’ve always been an independent contractor. 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 or waiting on payments. 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 doesn’t leave much time for personal projects (like this blog), but at least I’m able to take on a small 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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