I’ve been asked more than once how I deal with the lack of security that goes along with working as a freelance writer. Since I’ve started freelancing, I’ve come to understand why actors and other creative types are said to be insecure. You are only as good as your last performance (gig), and there are no guarantees that you will get another assignment. Talk about working without a net! At the same time, I feel more secure as a self-employed freelancer than I did when I was working for someone else.
Why? It’s quite simple, really. When I work for myself, then I’m in control of my business. I can decide whether I have enough on my plate or if I need to devote more time to applying for freelance writing jobs or pitching potential clients. I have been in the position of being laid off from an office job due to circumstances that were beyond my control and that had nothing to do with my job performance. I would rather succeed or fail based on my own efforts than work for someone else.
Does that mean I always feel secure? Not at all. But then again, I didn’t feel particularly secure when I worked for someone else. (At one place where I used to work, the woman in charge of Personnel liked to fire people on Friday afternoons, so a lot of us made a point of not answering our phones after lunch that day. The logic was that if she couldn’t find you to summon up to her office, she couldn’t fire you….)
I guess the bottom line here is that we can all control how we feel about who we are and what we do. Security is something that comes from within, even though it can be a struggle to feel that way at times. Just like the lady in the photo here, if we focus on being afraid and think about whether we are going to fall, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Even if we don’t feel particularly secure at any given time, we can project a confident image (which is half the battle) to our clients and potential clients.
Do you feel secure in your freelance career or is that something you struggle with?