So I just went against my own advice – I quit my job without another role to go to. After years working for big corporates and an international NGO to boot, I’m leaving the safety and comfort of a full-time, secure managerial role to embrace the big scary world as a freelance PR consultant.
From those who’ve gone down this well-trodden path, I receive congratulations on making the brave move. I’m told how I’d love being my own boss, appreciate the work/life balance, and never want to work for somebody again. Those who’ve never done this before have a different reaction. A slight pause when they hear I’ve not got anything lined up, a nervous question about how I’m feeling, and a slightly disingenuous ‘you’ll be fine’ at the end.
But I don’t blame the sceptics. In these financially constrained times, most people go freelance for one of two reasons- they’ve either been made redundant from their job, or they’ve started a family and wanted more time at home. I have no such excuses. So on paper, my bold move seems a bit mad.
However, the alternatives – staying in a job that wasn’t working for me, or making a rash decision by jumping to another role, didn’t really appeal. All too often people make career decisions based on necessity rather than choice. I.e. they hate their job and just have to move on, which ultimately leads to compromising on salary, location or some other important factor. Or they stay in their role either hoping it will get better, sitting it out until they find something else, or just resigning themselves to their position.
Of course everyone has different financial constraints and most of us do have to work. However, the fear of the unknown can often hold us back. Or it certainly did in my case. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but confiding in people who have freelanced before, scoping out potential opportunities and ultimately believing in myself is what helped me make this decision.
And of course, the biggest plus for me is that I truly madly deeply love what I do for a living. That may sound a little OOT, but few things make me happier than seeing my words in print, and gaining invaluable coverage for clients. I always felt that no matter how far I climb the career ladder, I’ll always get a kick out of boosting the profile of a brand, organisation or person through the ancient art of storytelling.
The added value of working with a variety of people and sectors that comes with freelancing is also a great plus, and I hope that this and my passion for writing will see me through the first few months, which I’ve been warned are the trickiest.
I know it’ll be a challenge, I know I’ll have moments that I’ll want to run back to the safety of a regular wage, and I may end up doing so, but equally I relish the opportunity. Even before I barely started freelancing, I gained a new skill by creating my own WordPress website. And that’s the beauty of this whole new chapter – just like blogging introduced me to the world of social media, going solo is teaching me invaluable skills which can only benefit the clients that I work for.
And finally, another motivator for going freelance is that I can focus on the other passion, Desi girl’s blog. I will now be able to give it the time it deserves, rather than fitting it around my work.
So now onto self-motivation, networking, and more networking. Oh, and I’m making sure that I get up at the same time as hubby in the morning, so I don’t get too lazy. It’s all too easy to lay in and then end up working into the evening. For me, that seems to defeat the whole purpose of the work/life balance.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress, and of course share any advice as I go along. For anyone else out there who’s gone freelance, or is thinking of doing so, get in touch. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Oh, and if you’re looking for PR support, copywriting or any other form of profile-raising, here’s a bit about what I do: http://hkcommunications.me/