Advice: 15 Perils of Freelancing 

  1. Yes, you can work anywhere but it comes with downsides. The coffee shop has crying babies and tables aren’t always free. The park has no wifi. Home has too many distractions. Find the right place for you, or at least the tools you need to work successfully and you can work anywhere.
  2. The Skype Interview.  Remember to dress appropriately for the Skype interview. Yes you can dress from the waist up, but if you forget and stand up, yes, they’ll see your knickers! (I was once interviewed by a woman in gym gear post-cardio- she was in LA)
  3. Collaborate. Find those fellow freelancers and make good work together! Find new people to spend your free time with too.
  4. The phone interview. They offer you a phone interview and some will give a prior: ‘I’ll be 5 minutes’ message. Some forget to call you entirely. It happens. Either way, in the time waiting, do something like catch up on emails or cat videos. If they do forget to call, send a friendly message, to find out if you’re still awaiting a call, otherwise move on.
  5. Beware of the caffeine. Sometimes we want it. Sometimes we need it. Keeping a water bottle on your desk will keep you hydrated the right way.
  6. Scheduling. Dependent on what work you do, inevitably, you may not have much of a schedule. Try and work something into your weekly diary like a Monday morning spin class or Wednesday coffee-mornings with friends. Having even one element of your week that remains constant and consistent will help bring a little balance.
  7. Plants. Cacti and succulents are the trend right now, but they also make your working space better having known to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue… Plus, the look great.
  8. You’ll eat what you have access to. Whether you live alone or not, or whether you work from a remote location, you’ll eat whatever is around you. If you want to ditch the chocolate and binge on the carrots, make sure that’s what you have around you. Keep a banana in your bag or stock up from Whole Foods.
  9. Dress in more than your pyjamas. Sometimes you want to stay in your pyjamas all day, but psychologically something kicks in and you end up thinking you’re ill (maybe that’s just me) or you forget you’re in working-mode. Buy some nice loungewear if that’s the case, or dress to impress. It makes a difference.
  10. Know your lingo. Craft those emails, Whatsapp messages, letters and meetings to perfection. It’ll make all the difference. 
  11. Should I have been paid this? Know who’s paying you what. Know what you’re owed. Know your rights. This is the dull but important stuff so stay on top of it.
  12. Remember when to stop. It’s easy to work 24/7 and sometimes it’s necessary. Don’t forget to take breaks, days or weekends off when you can.
  13. One minute you’re super busy and you forget your friends. Other times you’re free and all your friends are busy. It happens, and no one really knows why. Work comes all at once and then it disappears just when your friends are on holiday or stuck in meetings. Have hobbies, or list down the things you want to do by yourself whether that be sleeping, Netflix or that new retrospective at the gallery.
  14. Be nice, but not too nice. Sometimes the postman or the window cleaner will turn up. Your aunt will call and someone wants to check if you have PPI. Have a chat, but try not to forget that you have work to do!
  15. Learn how to organise in the best way that suits you. Perhaps it’s labels, colours, or messy piles. Find your niche.

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