Today is National Freelancers Day, so we’re counting down the deepest, darkest truths that every freelancer knows. From chronic self-doubt to Carrie Bradshaw’s lies, PLATF9RM is with you, guys.
1. If you come to the end of a job and don’t have someone offering you something new within 48 hours you spiral into a vortex of self-doubt and convince yourself that you’ll never work again.
And no amount of Love Island catch-up episodes will distract you from this.
2. E-mail typos haunt you like a squandered romance.
You think you’ve sent the perfect pitch for a dream job. When you don’t hear back you read over your e-mail pitch and find two typos (‘their’ rather than ‘they’re’- we’ve all been, uhm, there) and then can’t shake the feeling that you’ve missed out on a career-defining role because you momentarily forgot the basics of grammar. Woe is this.
3. You will have a Stockholm Syndrome-like relationship with your phone.
Your phone is the mainline to financial security and creative fulfillment, yet part of you harbours a deep resentment at the power it holds over your entire existence. Those little beeps accompanying an incoming e-mail are both the beeps of opportunity, but the beeps that mean you’re about to the have to leave everyone else in the pub whilst you finish off that deck for tomorrow. It’s complicated, okay?
4. If you work from home, non-freelancers will assume you just sit around working in your pants all day.
Maybe you did do this, once or twice, when you started out. Then you realised that enclothed cognition is a thing and that adorning yourself in a 15 year old pair of Power Rangers pyjama bottoms is not conducive to entering a professional mind space.
5. Occasionally, you will experience acute jealously of your 9-5 pals.
It’s 6pm on a Saturday and you’re stuck inside on the balmiest evening of the year finishing off a pitch for first thing Monday. A friend calls: you can actually hear the clinking of glasses and the breaking of waves in the background, and you think aloud, ‘Is this it?’
6. When you go out to lunch with your parents, you’ll say things like this: “No, of course I’m not checking my emails. I’m just checking the weather for our walk later.”
You probably did check the weather but, really, that doesn’t take five minutes of power scrolling does it?
7. Carrie Bradshaw was a lie.
Consider the evidence: Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City was out every night, knocking back Cosmopolitans with her mates and eating in the city’s most fashionable restaurants. When she wasn’t there she was lolling in her bouji Manhattan flat, wearing some of the $40,000 worth of shoes it’s estimated she wore over the length of the show. And how did she fund this freewheeling and fancy-free lifestyle? A weekly column about her sexual proclivities in The New York Star. Pull the other one, mate.
8. In theory you have only one boss, you, but in reality you have hundreds.
Sure, in theory you’re the boss, but every new job is a new person who you’ve got to impress with your professionalism and nuanced people skills. The days of phoning in a meeting ended that day you decided to go freelance. Yay!
9. Regardless, you know you can’t go back.
Once you get used to the freelance life and the pressures it entails, that pressure becomes an energy and you know your days as a company guy / girl are long gone. Unless that company is you, of course.
Happy National Freelancer's Day to all freelancers out there.