Why Did I Decide to Become a Freelancer?
I’m officially a 1-year-old today as a freelancer!
How time flies! Today marks my first 365 days working as a freelancer.
After an expected laid off when the Covid-19 pandemic (I’m sure you all still remember) took its first hit in Canada, I realized how “job security” is really a myth. Things can change overnight. Degrees, experiences, past successes, and the value you can offer as an employee won’t matter much once you’ve become a liability to the business due to externalities. Rather than disappointing myself with more rejection letters or gaslighting from recruiters, I decided to do something different by becoming a freelancer.
On May 2nd, 2020, I signed up on Upwork and put together a profile for remote working opportunities. 12 months later, while studying towards my master’s degree, I established a 5-figure freelance practice with long-term and returning clients, tripled my rate since my internship in early 2020, and maintained a track record of stellar client reviews, leading me to clients and projects that are higher profile and more lucrative.
It’s been such a wild ride full of challenges, surprises, and growth. On this special occasion, I’d like to reflect upon my initial motivations and intentions when I decided to launch my freelance career, maybe it will inspire you to take your very first steps.
So, why did I decide to become a freelancer?
Take control of my schedule
To be fair, the first and only full-time office job I had was genuinely great: a tidy, spacious, astroturfed office with full amenity and free snacks, a young and creative team, challenging yet exciting projects, a short commute with an ocean view, three screens at my desk, and no one work overtime… Hell, this is as good as the office life gets. Yet, I still wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted for the rest of my life.
Then I realized that it was the “office life” altogether. When working as an office-based employee, your timetable and physical location are usually quite defined. As an ex-pat who lives far away from my family, it will be professionally challenging for me to visit them regularly, leaving my job for a couple…