My First Month- 3 mins
I’ve put my first invoices out. What a relief! It’s been a whirlwind few weeks so I thought I’d write about it a bit.
My previous employer, Foundry, unfortunately had to close doors last month. We had an amicable end to the business and made the mature decision as a team to do so. Still, that left the five of us at a loose end with not much time to do something about it!
I decided that the next step in my career should be to go freelance and see if I can use all the lessons learned over the past 6 years to manage my own workload and have a bit more flexibility in my life.
Being the boss
Now that I’m unemployed - Uh oh! I’m in charge and also responsible for 100% of my output. There’s a certain stress that comes from not having a team to work with if you have a bad day or need to flex your availability a little bit.
On the other side I get to pick how I fill my schedule, so it’s less a feeling of ‘you must do x today’ and more a feeling of ‘I have decided to do x today’, which gives a better feeling of control over my day-to-day.
Selling myself is a new skillset I’m having to learn on the fly. It’s a strange feeling to be your own salesman- it feels a bit like a conflict of interest.
I’ve also been able to pivot to selling my skills in more of a specialist role, targeting technologies that I prefer to work with while using the foundation of knowledge I’ve built over my career so far.
I do all this to provide a good home for my wife and boys. Making sure to shut the laptop after a good day’s work is important.
Trying to establish the new normal with a routine that gets me out of the house every day is tricky too - I’ve got the option of working from a few different locations so I can mix up my week and hide from the teething baby.
An unfortunate side-effect is that cycling has taken a hit. Without my one-hour a day commute it’s been hard to keep the miles up. This is something I hope will settle down as my routine comes together and I can get back to keeping myself fit.
A good start
Through panicking, more than a bit of luck, some great friends, and sending buckets of emails I’ve been lucky enough to have a strong start.
I was up against the deadline that our meagre savings could provide while I established myself. There’s no safety net and guaranteed salary anymore.
Allowing myself more freedom to attend social events in tech locally, reach out to other freelancers locally and generally putting myself out there has given me a lot of confidence - and helped me make new friends!
It would have been all too easy to hide away and work without the social interaction, so I’m glad I didn’t go down that route!
So far, so good. The stress levels are coming down as I get myself established and build a good working relationship with my clients.
Thanks to those of you that have listened to me panic for all different reasons & my clients that have shown faith in my abilities - despite a slim portfolio initially!
If you’ve read this far then why not get in touch and tell me about your experience? I’m still finding my rhythm and any tips you may have are very much appreciated.