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10 Things Only Freelancers Will Understand

Being a freelancer means just sitting around in your underwear all day doing nothing, right? Well, actually, there’s a little more to it than that. Sometimes it means sitting around in your underwear, yeah, but more often than not there’s a lot of fretting over getting gigs and spending a lot of time alone. All the same, we wouldn’t give it up for the world.

See also: 8 Things NOT to Say to a Professional Freelancer

1. Nobody believes you have a real job

This really gets on our nerves. People think that just because you’re not putting on a suit or uniform and commuting to an office across the city, you’re not actually working. We often get asked, “So, what have you been doing all day?” Believe it or not, we do actually spend our days working...

2. You're constantly worrying about your next job

Even if you’ve got a few regular gigs you can rely on, there’s always that little niggling fear in the back of your mind. The fear that it’s all going to go to pot and you’ll have no income to speak of. The reality is that freelancing isn’t a stable job. You can either deal with that or you can’t.

3. You sometimes work for less than you're worth

And it feels like shit. But because of the previous point, the fact that we’re not always sure where our next paycheck is coming from, we sometimes have to work for peanuts. And while we’re doing it, we’re so annoyed, but we do it anyway. When we started, most of us worked for next to nothing, too.

4. You have messed up sleeping patterns

No matter how many times you tell yourself you’re going to stick to a fixed routine, it never happens. It’s all that damned freedom we have. We find ourselves working into the night and sleeping half the day fairly regularly. Who needs sleep, anyway?

5. You sometimes don't see daylight for several days

If you’ve got an important project on, then you pretty much place yourself under house arrest until it’s finished. After a few days of being holed up at home, you venture outside to go to the supermarket or something, all pale and bedraggled.

6. You're not willing to accept a rigid schedule under any circumstances

As a freelancer, you’re your own boss and therefore do what you want, when you want. So, when your friends say they’ll meet you for dinner at 8, you’re like, “Oh hell, nooo”. You’ll meet them when you’re ready.

7. You spend more time looking for jobs than working

This is perhaps the most frustrating part of freelancing. You spend hours looking for and applying for gigs on job boards and freelancing sites. You end up spending more time trawling the Internet than doing the work you love.

8. You have more chill clothes than smart clothes

The number of baggy pants and old T-shirts you have in your drawer is ridiculous. Because this is essentially the uniform of the freelancer. If you ever decided to work at an office again, you would definitely have to go out and buy yourself a whole new wardrobe.

9. You're sometimes afraid of people

This is what happens when you spend too much time working alone. If you’ve been really busy with work and not had the chance to get out much, when something does crop up, you’re nervous that you’ve forgotten how to interact with people.

10. You pity those who work 9 to 5

Hehe! You don’t have to get up super early in the morning to make sure your shirt is pressed. You don’t have to sit in traffic for ages trying to get to work. Nor do you have to report to anyone if you’re sick or you’re just not feeling it that day.

See also: What Makes A Freelancer Happy?

Freelancing has its ups and downs, good points and bad points. But us freelancers wouldn’t give it up for the world. The flexibility and freedoms are so worth it.

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