In true millennial fashion, my major life change started on social media with a scroll down my Twitter feed.
After taking the elevator down from the corporate world with a heart full of passion, enthusiasm and determination, I walked up the steep stairs of self-employment, equipped with my laptop, serving as a portal to a recondite realm of unexplored opportunities.
In one particularly serendipitous moment, when wearing my newly unemployed status as a badge of honour (signifying a pursuit of personal fulfilment and maximum potential), my first freelancing opportunity appeared right before my eyes, smack bang in the middle of my timeline.
One job application, challenging trial shift and sigh of relief later, I had found my comfort zone once more. And for the remainder of the year, I expanded my writing portfolio while at the same time mastering my craft and earning an income greater than my previous senior management level position, working full-time.
The very next year, I acquired a new skill worthy of a slot on my resume as I learned how to juggle multiple projects, clients and different types of work. With a jam-packed schedule and an increase in productivity, I established greater financial security and a new personal best on my ‘per annum’ figure.
Finally, I was giving myself my best chance. I was chasing my dreams and surviving, in fact I was not only surviving, I was thriving… BUT (there’s always a but) this was not my “happily ever after”, it was just another chapter in my freelance story. And like every good plot, I started to encounter some unsuspected twists and turns.
I was presented with the classical dilemma between the head and the heart; I soon realised that the projects that I had been enjoying the most and the clients who appeared to really value my work were the same ones that were unable to offer the level of compensation that I earned elsewhere.
My heart told me to stick with it but my head – surrounded by mounting bills and a stagnate bank balance – told me to grab on to the nearest buoy (or the next available opportunity) to keep my head above water. I managed to preserve some of my beloved smaller gigs, relying on them for extra support like armbands, while others regrettably sunk to the darkest depths of the ocean.
Somewhere on my way back to the shore, here in 2017 (my third year of freelancing), I have found myself stuck between a rock and a hard place, reaching out to a number of companies offering my services and in response receiving an admirable level of honesty from those prospective clients:
I’m afraid our staff news positions are all filled at present (and our freelance rates are literally peanuts!).
We mostly publish articles from fans who are trying to gain exposure and make a name for themselves. I have a feeling that is not what you are looking for.
Meanwhile, I remain out at sea, floating upon these turbulent waves of highs and lows while searching for a beacon of light to guide me forward on my journey.
Lighthouse keepers, reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloggers – please share your advice below!