My new colleague is quite hairy and doesn't talk much. I've quit my secure, full time, well paid job for the exhilarating freedom and terrifying insecurity of life as a freelancer. It's Week 1 and already I am having conversations with my dog.
There are a few other things I have noticed in these first few days working for myself. Mainly that I am a terrible boss. I expect 120% from myself all the time. I make myself work all hours of the day and night and I never switch off. There is always something else to be done if you work for yourself - if the to do list is complete you write another one.
I've left my job as an in house social media manager to make it on my own. Expectation levels are high but the person putting the most pressure on me is me. To others what I have already achieved in these early days looks like success, to me it is just the start.
I don't miss the commute to the office though, that's for sure. I have this wonderful little routine where I set my alarm for 8.30am, role out of bed and eat breakfast in front of the TV, ready and alert at my desk (the dining table) to begin work at 9am (in my pyjamas.) I do miss the opportunity that hour and a half train journey gave me to catch up on reading though, getting absorbed in a book or browsing today's news in the Metro. I really miss collecting my weekly dose of Stylist at the train station.
But I'm saving money by not paying ridiculously high train fares (which are rising all the time.) I can also make my own healthy lunch from an array of options in the fridge (all the while trying to ignore the fact that the biscuit tin is calling me!).
I'm failing miserably regarding the theory that going freelance will allow me more time to exercise. I'm actually doing far less; there have already been a couple of days where I was so tied to my inbox I forgot to leave the house.
I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. In my line of work that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I do wonder how people who work from home in other industries manage to have the inane daily conversations that stop us all from going crazy. I tried putting daytime TV on for while just to have some background noise but that only made me miserable (please can the producers in charge of scheduling play some less depressing shows during daylight hours). As I confessed earlier I talk to the dog instead now.
I have a holiday coming up over Christmas and New Year and I'm dreading it. How can I do enough work in advance to guarantee that some form of income comes in over those 2 weeks away? Should I take my laptop away and squeeze in some work of an evening? (Bearing in mind I am spending Christmas in Australia with family and then travelling around Vietnam in the new year I'm not sure if this is polite or even viable.)
But it's early days. I have time to figure these things out and the first weeks are always going to be the hardest, aren't they? I'm living the dream, aren't I?
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