I really can’t blame anybody for wanting to go back to relying on employment.
I mean…they send you checks on a regular basis, they keep your work flowing…they set up your vacations and sick days…in the U.S. they even handle your taxes and health insurance.
In the short term, that can be a pretty sweet deal, even with all the tradeoffs you make for that predictability. If you’re a freelancer, it can start calling to you as soon as an invoice isn’t getting paid or you’re short on clients. So how do you keep yourself motivated? Here’s a few steps you can take to make sure that motivation take stays topped up.
The best way to make sure you don’t go running back to the employment security illusion is making sure freelancing is a better option in every way possible.
That means setting up a plan to make more, deal with less stress, even enhance your career growth. Make sure you’re prioritizing savings, retirement, and things you enjoy. If you aim from the beginning to replace what employment provided, just better, why go back?
Think of it as a defense to racism.
I deal with a tiny fraction of the microaggressions that I used to. I also don’t worry about being underpaid compared to my coworkers. And losing a whole job prospect because I’m “surprise Black” at an interview? Not even something I think about anymore.
If you set it up right, freelancing can relieve a lot of the day-to-day stresses that working in racially hostile and passive aggressive work environments bring with them. That means when you’re thinking about turning around, you’ll have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to deal with that again?”
Pay attention to your health.
People are out here dying for a paycheck. Literally.
If you’re like me and employment was tearing up your health, it’s hard to find motivation that’s stronger than staying alive and healthy enough to enjoy your life and the people around you.
Make sure you’re taking full advantage of the freedom freelancing gives you to adjust your diet, get more exercise, and especially, get enough sleep.
One reason employed spots look better than freelance is that they’re the result of strategic planning. Those jobs don’t just come out of nowhere.
They aren’t the result of hope, or passion, or trends, they’re strategic decisions that businesses have made to reach larger goals. Make sure you’re doing the same in your own work and employment won’t have as much of a leg up when freelancing gets rocky.
Set up good habits.
I’m always talking about marketing habits around here and one big reason is because they reduce stress — the stress of wondering where work is coming from and whether you’re doing everything you need to be.
If you’re still just letting marketing “happen naturally” (or aren’t marketing at all) this is probably where you need to start.
Get some of that good peer pressure.
If you’re itching to go back to employment, it’s probably partly because that’s what most of the people around you are doing.
Are you talking to other freelancers who are overcoming problems? Do you have somewhere to go to deal with the daily stresses and challenges? Do you have freelance coworkers? If not, of course the status quo is going to draw you back in. Come connect with your community so your frustrations don’t get to seem bigger than they actually are.