There is an absence of a fixed notion about the term freelancer in people’s minds.
Is a freelancer’s life as carefree and independent as they talk about? Or is it worse than working a 9 to 5?
Using humor as a coping mechanism, let’s find out the truth behind what the freelancer life is like in reality through these freelancer memes.
People expect freelancers to have all the time in the world. In reality, however, the moment we shut down our laptops and decide to dedicate some time to ourselves, our email inbox snatch that opportunity from us.
Ask a freelancer the last time they took a break, and you’d be surprised to hear the answers.
A normal person may have a bunch of wishes they might ask a genie. A freelancer, on the other hand, would not need three wishes at all. The only wish they’d want to be granted would be for timely payments.
Who isn’t familiar with the term advance deposit? A freelancer!
A plethora of skills and yet a poor vocabulary. In reality, there was a time on this earth when freelancers knew what an advanced deposit was. With time as many animals, traditions, and religions started becoming extinct, so did this term from the vocabulary of freelancers.
Oh, the lengths we freelancers go to in order to be paid for our work! Some amateurs even believe that if they submit the work before the deadline, they might actually be paid for it on time.
I can see where they are coming from, and surely the effort is tempting but want to know the harsh reality? The clients pay when they want to pay.
How Do I Manage My Time?
If the life of a freelancer were to be summed up in a picture, it would be the freelancer meme above.
Indeed, we do not have to allot fixed hours for our work. This permits us to conveniently organize our day’s work while taking out sufficient time for ourselves. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
It’s sad, though, that even the greatest freelancers of all time haven’t been able to see the day that happens.
No wonder we are always in a hurry because the time we could have dedicated to writing is spent doing a thing called what we want.
The Judging Glare
How often have people working corporate jobs or from other professions asked what we do for a living? They ask this question not because they don’t know the answer. Instead, it’s because they can’t seem to understand it.
“What is a freelancer?” they ask. The perplexed look on their faces when you answer that question is definitely worth the watch. Imagine people with reputable degrees and certifications getting puzzled when you tell them you are a freelancer. Where is your vast knowledge now, huh?
Of course, there is a preconceived notion about freelancers having all the time in the world. Only we know that there is no such thing as even a weekend for us. But explaining that to our inspectors is harder than getting clients to make payments on time.
Delayed payments are tolerable, and everlasting interrogations from family and friends are still tolerable. But when a client asks us to revise our work for the umpteenth time, that is where we lose it.
Revising our work is part of the deal, but it’s the kind of deal where you can get a drink and fries along with your hamburger. Clients, however, mistake it for an all-you-can-eat buffet.
What’s even worse is the audacity with which they will ask you for revisions, talking about responsibility and commitment to work. But when the time comes to make those payments, their lectures about responsibility and commitment are shipped off to Wakanda.
For a freelancer, it’s their skills that help them earn. But a freelancer’s greatest skill is controlling the urge to turn into The Hulk whenever a client asks for a revision.
Digging Our Own Graves
“Christmas in Hawaii!” Surely a pretty picture. But it’s time to burst that bubble and face reality. While there might be the possibility of Christmas in Hawaii, one thing is certain. There is no way you are making that trip without your laptop.
We always have an option to take as many clients as we can cater to conveniently. But do we do that? The prospect of more clients is so exciting that we tend to oversee the pit we are digging for ourselves.
The Guilt Trap
Even thinking about taking time for ourselves away from work feels like a crime. The opportunity cost of missing out on potential clients creeps behind us like Nagini until we succumb to it and sit in front of our laptops again.
They say the world is full of wonders that will make you lose your mind. Trust me; you do not have to travel the world to experience that. Listen to clients who have no idea what they want, and you are already halfway to insanity.
The Museum of Clients
Yes, we don’t work on fixed wages. Fair trade, right? We can demand our pay according to the work we do.
Nah! It sounds great and would actually be wonderful if it was true. Unfortunately, some clients prey on new freelancers. Their work requirements are the size of Jack’s beanstalk, but their budget is the size of Lord Farquaad.
Then there are the ardent ones who want their projects to be a success, or should we call them the silly ones who have no idea what direction to take for this purpose?
They indeed hire us for help with navigation. But do we get paid according to our hard work and the killer strategies we offer? Yup, that’s a no again!
The only people freelancers can have expectations from our clients from reputable organizations. But what good are those expectations as well? We fall right back into Alice’s pit. The only difference is that we do not land in wonderland. We land in disappointments.
Multiple times freelancers consider weighing down the option of working a 9-5. And that is where self-assurance steps in.
Several swords are drawn in the bloody battle between freelancing and working for someone. The brain and the heart send their best swordsmen to win this battle for them. But one strike of “at least I don’t have to wake up at 7 AM” from the brain and the heart yields.