Just over three years ago I was inadvertently forced into freelancing. My wife was 35 weeks pregnant and we already had a two year old. I had to bring home the bacon somehow.
It came as a surprise to me when my boss at a small advertising agency in Sydney called me downstairs to his office. He was there with his business partner and they just simply laid it on the table - 'our business has slowed down and we need to make some cuts' - 'unfortunately Michael, your position here is no-longer needed'. All I kept thinking was how was I going to tell my pregnant wife (and what I was going to get for lunch - now that I had the afternoon off).
With the baby so close (and a redundancy payout) I didn't panic or worry about getting work straight away, family came first. That week I sent out emails and text messages to everyone I knew saying that I am now available for freelance work (or another full-time job). I was at home for two weeks before our daughter decided to join us. As the parents out there know, all of your emotions are mashed into one, it's a crazy time.
Now with the family settled in back at home it was time for me to get back to work. I was out getting nappies when I received a call from an old colleague asking if I was available for a days work. 'Yes!, when do I start'. That one day turned into a 4-day a week gig for the following month. It was a great little agency with an amazing team...
Getting made redundant can be a shot in the arm, it can knock your confidence. A mate of mine told me at the time that most people are better off after a redundancy, he was right.
After that first job I started getting phone calls from prospective clients and more freelance jobs via my recruiters and direct contacts, things were looking up. I was able to get a few of my own clients and even hooked up a 3-day a week 12 month contract. Freelancing gave me the time and flexibility to spend more time with my family and work on a variety of projects. I was loving it.
It hasn't been easy balancing work and family but I've now been freelancing for just over three years and even with it's ups and downs, I'll never go back to permanent work. I know it's not for everyone but it's worked out the best for me.
Thanks for reading my first ever blog post. I will be writing more about freelance life.