Ahhh… freelance life. It’s 8am, and instead of screaming at other cars during my morning commute or struggling to eat a bagel before heading out the door, I’m at home in my pajamas watching the morning news. I may or may not be topless. Take a bet on that.
The freelancer life has been good to me. It’s allowed me to be a work-from-home-mom, forced me to learn a bunch of new skills such as about a hundred different ways to describe the male and female … uh… body parts, and I’ve got to make my own workplace in places like London and Amsterdam.
But it’s not for everyone. It really isn’t. I remember that in the beginning months of me going it alone, I read through this guest post from a more seasoned self-employed person and thought: Pshhh. That will never be me. Yo ho, yo ho, a freelancer’s life for me!
However, yesterday, I did something completely new, something super against that freelancing singing pirate. I applied to work somewhere with an office, a 401k, a tethered desk, a <gasp> DRESS CODE.
As I sent my resume in, I felt a tinge of regret, but then a bristle of excitement. There were things I genuinely missed about working traditionally. And now that I’ve had two years in the game, the thought of going back to the right job doesn’t seem so scary after all.
Here’s just ten things that I miss about working a real job.
10 Reasons Why I Want to Work for Someone Else Again
1. The Paychecks — I seriously miss those Friday’s full of possibility and hope when I could open my bank account and it would be stock full of $$$ and 000’s. Today, I pray that this client will pay me before that student loan payment is taken out or so that I can go get groceries. There’s no Payday Friday for me. There’s OMG THANK GOD HE PAID ON TIME days. And those, my friends, are scary days.
2. The Power — The staff of my various business endeavors includes two other people. It’s not much, but it works. And with one being my husband, I don’t get to pull a Trump and tell him he’s fih’red. Instead, I get to beg him to put down the baby and go to work. I really do miss being able to manage a bunch of strangers that won’t hold my demands over my head during dinnertime.
3. The Fashion — I was formerly an elementary teacher. And boy did I dress like it. Lots of bold cardigans, polka dots, and comfy slacks. If you could label anyone as someone who works with kids, I’d be it.
4. The Lack of Confusion — I’ve complained about this before. It’s really hard to explain to someone what you do when the conventional idea of freelancing is that you are unemployable. Not true. I’ve never been fired. Never lost my job. I just made a choice, man!
5. The Title — Director! Manager! Coordinator! It all just sounds like it deserves an exclamation mark at the end. While I do call myself the “Owner and Creative Director,” I still get side eyed when I tell them it’s for my own business.
6. The One Job — On my docket today is two chapters of a romance novel, 2 articles about college dorm rooms, fixing up a website, tweeting about weddings, and scheduling Facebook posts for a lighting company. Boy, do I miss when I was a Jack of ONE Trade.
7. The Application Process — So I just submit this thing and wait for an interview? Is that really all I have to do? I don’t have to turn in a portfolio, send follow up emails, negotiate milestones and pay? I don’t have to apply for 100000001 opportunities a day? That’s it! Everything’s so streamlined.
8. The People — You take for granted the person sitting in the desk next to you crunching loudly on apples when they’re suddenly not around. Given that I only talk to my baby and dog, I just miss the community of it all… even when the community drove me to tears most day.
9. The Routine — After a year of working as a freelancer, I know my biggest issue is that I have an inability to stick to a schedule when there is no schedule. Work at 2am? DON’T MIND IF I DO! It sucks. I need stability and an agenda! I need a clock that tells me that I have to stop working. If not, I won’t. And then I’m doing things like fact checking pieces on marketing to seniors while making dinner.
10. The Quietness — I worked in a university. Quiet wasn’t exactly happening everyday considering my office was like a portal for upset graduate students needing somewhere to vent (BTW I love listening and solving other people’s problems. I miss that too). But compared to a baby crying, a dog barking, and the buzzer in my apartment going off every 2 minutes… an office setting at 8am sounds like a heavenly escape akin to a Sandals Resort. Take me away!