Being self employed and having a kid is great, but it can be hard. The past six momths have been challenging to say the least. Days that would normally allow me six or seven hours of work time were reduced to a mish-mash of full days (if my husband was home) and the odd hour here and there if he got called to go on a job. Until we got a childminder (3 months into lockdown) I was pretty much relying on my husband not getting any calls for work (which I didn't really want) and the childcare services of Secret Life of Pets, Boss Baby and Paw Patrol.
Whilst I was trying to work through the shouts of various cartoon charected I got to thinking about the pros and cons of self-employed life.
Pros •I was already used to working from home. I missed my co-working space and popping to coffee shops for a change of scene but I had the bonus of being used to working on my own.
•Working when you want to work. The 9 to 5 never really suited me. I am productive in the morning and at night but in the afternoon my brain seems to need a little down time. Fine when you manage your own hours not so cool when you have a boss breathing down your neck. • I can work with people I like. I am lucky I am in a position where I only work with people I like and get on with. This wasn’t the case when I first became self-employed but seven years on and it is one of my favourite luxuries of self-employment. • No office politics. I don’t have to listen to who said what about who because to be honest I never really cared. • Sports day, school plays, mopping poorly brows I can do them all. It might mean I have to use the TV to babysit or work late into the night, but I can be there. • Social life and holidays. If a friend is off work and fancies lunch if my client work is up to date I can go, I can go for an hour, three hours or all day and nobody will question it. If I fancy a holiday I don’t have to check with HR or make sure that Janet in accounts isn’t off at the same time.
Cons • People don’t think I have a job (well not a serious one). Some people talk to me as if it is a little hobby (yes that’ll be my mum). There seems to be far more status attached to jobs I have had previously with titles and company cars, even though I work much harder being self-employed I have to get the work, do the work, keep the client, manage my time, sort my accounts etc. • Not secure even when you feel secure (could lose a client). Even when things are good and you’re full to capacity there is always that niggling feeling that things could change, that a client could have a change of heart or worse all your clients. • Money, money, money (or not). I have most of my clients on retainer so have a good idea of my monthly income but there have been clients that delay paying or struggle with cash flow which in turn affects my cash flow. • Working holidays. I never really switch off, even when on holiday I check my emails and respond to journalists and enquiries. I keep reminding myself it is PR not ER.
Tell me what do you like and dislike about self-employed life?