Earlier this week I shared what I’ll miss most about making my own schedule. So it only seems fair to also talk a little bit about why I’ve decided to return to the 9 to 5 world. This whole freelancing topic has gotten out-of-hand trendy and super glorified in certain blog circles, with everyone and their mother suddenly being a budding “expert” on how to be an independent worker. So I also hope to bring some balance to that conversation.
When I first left my proofreading job to go on this sabbatical, there was nothing but a but the fog of possibility before me. The plan was to learn as much as I could and then hope that the road would take shape. I thought I’d likely either work towards a full-time independent business or try to get a full-time job that would be a good fit and help me learn even faster.
Though I definitely plan to keep taking independent contract work, there are many reasons why I decided to rejoin the ranks of the employed-by-others.
- I’ll be surrounded by a team of people I can learn from on a daily basis.
- I’m more productive and organized when I have an externally structured schedule. I wish this weren’t true about me, but it is.
- There’s no clock to stop. When freelancing, I stop my clock when I get up to get a drink or go to the bathroom. When working for someone else, I get paid even when taking a bathroom break.
- Snow days are snow days again. (This is no small thing right now.) And if I choose to work on a snow day, it’ll be to get ahead on freelance work. (Or maybe I’ll get a work laptop? It will be a necessity if this slop keeps up much longer…)
- I’ll get to have a hand in things that a ton (thousands? millions?) of people will see.
- I can learn so much faster if there’s external pressure to pick up a new technology or skill for a pending project.
- I’m unequivocally introverted, but human interaction is healthy. I tend to work like a hermit, even with access to excellent coworking communities. It’ll be good for me have friendly work acquaintances I’ll (be forced to) see every day.
- My version control workflow skills will improve greatly by working with a team and having to merge and resolve conflicts and with others, rather than being the only one committing to a code repository.
- I won’t be the one having to chase someone down to get assets or information I need.
- It’ll be easier for me to take on passion projects or non-paying creative endeavors when I know I’ll have a baseline of regular income.
- It’s a huge confidence boost to know that a place I wanted to work at wanted me to work for them. If I succeed, it’ll be a testament to the value of the time I put in to learning and growing over the past year and a half.
I’m super grateful for this past season, but I’m equally excited for the one ahead. Like I’ve said, I’ll still be taking select independent projects, so I’ll get to keep some of the perks of that while also benefiting from all of the above.
Have you ever returned to a regular full time job after freelancing? Any favorite pros/cons of either set up? Tips on managing both?