Freelancer?

My freelance ‘experiment’ didn’t turn out quite as I imagined it would. It’s not bad per se, since, first, what one imagines does not necessarily come to be and that’s ok, and, second, it turned out pretty good. I’m officially ‘independent’, I have a company, which meant that I had to get an accountant a week ago. That all sounds terribly grown-up and organised doesn’t it? Which reminds…I really need to get a folder and some dividers to organise the papers on my desk…
So I’m a freelancer and the founder/CEO of my one-man company but nothing in my day to day work seems to resemble the life of a freelancer. For starters, I have only one client which ’employs’ me full-time. That means I don’t have to go out and spend time looking for new clients – a situation that is a lot easier than wbat the majority of freelancers experience. The downside to this ‘one client setup’ is that if I lose the client then I have nothing to fall back on. One of the most important rules of freelancing is not to put all your eggs in one basket.
As such, I very much work on a Monday-to-Friday and 9-to-5 basis, which is very far from what I thought the hours would be when I started. On the other hand, working from home offers a certain kind of flexibility with regard to being able to just pop out to this place or that place to sort out some administrative riddles the administrators around the world are experts at throwing at you.  There are positives and negatives about this schedule and I haven’t made my mind up about whether I like it or not.
One of the great things about the company I work for is that they’re willing to send me to trainings. This is usually the preserve of employees – not contractors – and I’m counting my blessings because in the next two months they’re financing two trainings that I would definitely not have been able to afford on my own. As luck would have it they’re both taking place in Amsterdam, so that’ a bonus. I’ve been there once when I was a kid and although I won’t have much time for tourism I’m very much looking forward to the trips.
On a different subject, but somehow connected, we’ve been back in France for 5 months now and I still feel like some foreigner who just moved to a new country. I haven’t been working on any French projects so far and my attention is more often turned toward other countries than my own so I haven’t ‘reconnected’ yet. To top it off, I’m back in my hometown 16 years after having left it, and I’m still trying to make sense out of that one.
So it’s mostly good on the work front but there is plenty of fog on, say, the more social front. But spring is here now, it seems, so looking forward to that fog to clearing up.

0 thoughts on “Freelancer?

  1. suncitymom says:

    You’ve said it all very well. Returning to France has been a blessing to you and to Ann but especially for your parents. I am envious but also very happy that you are close to family and can reconnect and establish that bone. Having your lovely apartment and making it your own with your own things might, in some ways, be difficult as you are both such vagabonds. But I also hear and see (skype) the pride you are both taking in decorating it to suit your personal tastes.
    The training you are getting is priceless and will benefit you for your entire life. The fact that you have always been so positive about your “client” says volumes; very few people can be that positive about their employers.
    I am proud of you Chris, you have done this all on your own and made a home for you and for Ann. YOM

  2. Gloria Wells says:

    Having gone that “independent” route for years, I can totally understand and agree with your positives and negatives. I started my career as a residential real estate appraiser (after a career in libraries) in a large office with LOTS of work, moved to a smaller office with an impossible son/mother situation there, and finally moved into an office where the work was divided between residential and commercial appraisal. I covered the residential side and when the guys on the commercial side both decided to retire, I took over the business, closed the commercial side and moved the residential business into my home office. After all those years of working in that field, being totally on my own AND working from home was a gigantic adjustment.

    Your situation with limited clients was something I wrestled with constantly. It is VERY scary to have your income entirely dependent upon the whims of one or two clients ’cause we both know that there is very little loyalty in today’s business world. I lost several clients over the years for absolutely insignificant reasons…and even for no discerable reason (which is really hard to accept).

    My husband, who spent his entire working career employed by companies such as Bechtel and Rockwell and Boeing, looks upon being self-employed as the best possible world. Having been in public services (county libraries) and the sole owner of Wells Company/Houston, my feelings are, as you are finding out, mixed.

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