For freelancers working at a day job, setting the right balance between these two professional identities is very important. Achieving such a balance is made harder by the fact that you have less time to do more as a freelancer, unless you want to neglect the commitments of your corporate (and probably higher–earning) job.
But such a feat is possible, if you make a conscious effort to work faster and plan better. Knowing what your employer thinks of your freelancing career is much more important. Again, the best way to avoid potentially fatal confusion is to make sure everything is clear from the beginning.
Companies rightfully limit the use of their equipment. They would like to see their facilities—purchased and maintained at great cost—to earn more money for the company. This is why it’s important that you immediately find out what’s the company policy concerning any non–work–related activity. For instance, can you use your computer to accomplish a freelance project, once you’ve finished all your corporate commitments for the day? What about your company phone? Can you use it to contact clients? What if there’s a scheduling conflict between a company and freelancing activity?
Whatever your company policy states, you should follow it to the letter. No matter how unreasonable nor inconvenient it is for your freelance career. It helps to remember that the company is actually paying you to work for them, and that they’re granting you permission to use their offices to do so. Getting violating company policy brings about a bad reaction from management, depending on how strict they are. It can range from a simple verbal warning, to suspension or even dismissal. The point is that whatever happens, your productivity, as an office worker and freelancer, will suffer.
In short, you can literally pay for not taking your office’s stance towards non–work–related activity seriously. While you’re free to do as you please on your own time and with your own equipment, it’s an entirely different story when working at a traditional 9 to 5 job. The challenge of leading a double life as a contract and office worker is a very hard one, but one that you must shoulder if you freely sign that corporate contract.
The 6 Skills That Will Pay For Your Retirement: What Do You Think?
Over the last few days, interrupted only by a brief treatise on what we can learn from Lauren Caitlin, I wrote about six skills that will pay for your retirement. Namely:
Search Engine Optimization
The common factor among these skills is that they help clients sell something, particularly online. The internet is a wonderful boon for freelancers, because it provides a wider selection for both clients and contract workers—both can collaborate with people from practically any part of the world—and makes it easier for a good business model to succeed.
Is the future of freelancing that mercenary? Are there viable contract work careers available offline? I’d like to open the floor for discussion. What do you think?