am i still a freelancer?

One of the most wonderful things about working for yourself, is that if you don’t like the corporate world of bullshit job titles, getting to work ‘on-time’ and wondering how the person above you got to where they are (I mean really, how did they, they’re incompetent, right?) is that these frustrations kind of just melt away.

When there’s just one of you, you don’t have or need a job title. The work you do, who you work with and who for is all self governed. If I don’t feel a project has gone very well with a client or if I found it difficult to work with them, I can politely decline to take another project on with them. (Luckily all of my clients are amazing, so I’ve never had to do this!)

You can come in to work at whatever time you want, leave when you want and if, like me, you have children – you can take time off for the important things at the drop of a hat most of the time.

I enjoy talking to people, telling them about what it is I do, who I work with and (within reason) what it is I’m working on with these companies. Not in the kind of ‘oh, I do lots of networking’ kind of way; but more a ‘tell Paul about that adult site you were working on last month’ – it’s interesting, people want to know the nuts and bolts of how these things work – and I love to tell them.

This brings me on nicely to the actual subject of this post (if you’re still with me). Rewind back to last week, I was in the post office, posting out some small corporate gifts to some of the clients who I’d worked with during 2016. As I rocked up with my huge box of envelopes to post out, the cashier gave me that death-stare like I was making her do a full day’s worth of marking up letters in 20 minutes; Expecting a slow one were you Janice? Well, think again.

Whilst waiting for Janice to finish up franking all of my packages, I got chatting to a gentleman in the queue who was retiring that day and was posting out all of the days orders from his local shop – the internet is beautiful, right. He’s posting stuff all over the world thanks to clients finding him on ebay. I apologised profusely for holding up the queue and as he was in the same position, he didn’t seem to mind. He asked what kind of ‘merchandise’ I was trading as he’d assumed I was also posting out orders to customers, I kind of was, but nobody had ordered the gifts – I’m just nice like that.

I told him they were corporate gifts and that I was in fact a Web Designer. Which technically, isn’t really true. I mean, I do web design, but it’s only a very small aspect of what can become my working week. I told him I was a web designer as it seemed like the easiest thing to understand about what I do. He asked which company I worked for and I told him I was self-employed; to which he said ‘Oh yes, freelancing is the way to go’. I think he was picturing me sat in Starbucks, sipping a flat white using their electricity instead of my own. It’s cheaper right. – this got me thinking. Am I still a freelancer?

The dictionary definition defines a freelancer as “a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer.” Yep, that’s me.

However, being ‘self-employed’ is defined as “earning income directly from one’s own business, trade, or profession rather than as a specified salary or wages from an employer.” Yep, that’s me also.

Wait, now I’m confused. I don’t really have long-term commitments to my clients and I earn income directly from my business, trade or profession.

12 months ago, I’d have definitely said I was a freelancer – I worked from home and was probably a little more relaxed with the hours I kept than I do now.

Now, I have growing office space, I also have an employee (yes, there’s more than just me here who keeps this boat floatin’). I also have another job advert out there to take on a Junior Developer; so hopefully, I’ll be growing further! So, I’m not sure there’s a single descriptor that I can use to describe the journey that I’m currently on so I’m not going to try to. I will say, long may it continue and here’s to a great 2017!

I hope your 2016 was amazing as mine.