What Does Freelancing Mean to You?

Georgina Laidlaw

How did you get into freelancing? And what does it mean to you now?

You might think the answers to these questions are straightforward, but find yourself facing major life changes, and you may be surprised by the value you place on being a freelancer.

Recently I met the first major challenge — or opportunity — I’ve encountered since I started freelancing. Everything was up in the air. Sure, I’d shaped a nice freelancing life for myself, with great clients and fun projects, and it all fit very well into my world.

But suddenly everything was up for grabs. Which bits would I catch as they fell?

Freelancing as a lifestyle

Despite the challenges, and the fact that to outsiders, freelancing can seem flaky or lacking in commitment, I found that working as a freelancer was the first thing I wanted to catch.

Okay, so it didn’t guarantee financial security, there’s a recession on, and it can be a lonely way to work. But freelancing gives me a way to work — and live — that I love. It gives me a sense of control, of self-worth, and of capability that I found difficult to get when I worked as a salaried employee.

Okay, I thought, so freelancing’s a keeper.

But what was that really saying? Did freelancing define my life?

Living to work … to live

We all know that saying: “Are you living to work, or working to live?”

I think freelancing’s a bit of both. The lifestyle that freelancing facilitates is what drives many freelancers to work — and work on ever-more enjoyable, better-paid projects so that, in turn, they enjoy life more.

The more I thought about how I wanted my future to be, the more convinced I became that freelancing had to be central to it. A key component. I could change where I lived, I could buy or sell possessions, and I could alter my priorities and think up some different dreams.

But freelancing wasn’t optional. Whatever I did, I’d arrange my life so I could continue to freelance. In that way, I suppose freelancing does define my life, insofar as it makes the life I want possible.

What does freelancing mean to you? If your life changed dramatically, would you keep freelancing, or try something else?

Image courtesy stock.xchng user gabriel77