Up until ten years ago ‘going freelance’ used to be a euphemism for ‘given the push.’ No longer.
More of us are pro actively choosing to leave the payroll for the freedom of self-employment. (Office for National Statistics says self-employment jumped from 3.3 million people in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017).
Working for yourself is great (you can put the washing on, decide on your own timetable and wear athleisure all day. And not so great (zero job security, no IT help and you can wear athleisure all day).
When I left my office job for a life of shirking from home, one of the most monumental realisations was that time now equalled money. Whilst I was in an office job I was paid to go to appointments, meet PR’s, attend events and have a snooze through health and safety briefings. Now I am not. If I’m not writing, consulting, presenting or brainstorming I’m not earning.
So now I have to be choosier about how I spend my time. I will always try to go to a lunch/event/trip if a) the PR is a mate or there will be industry friends there b) I’m likely to get a story or c) if the location is exiting.
But other than that I try and restrict it.
Or I did. But now I’ve realised this is approach is deeply boring. I found that if I was home office bound I got a bit depressed and I ran out of ideas. Plus I like people.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is we hacks need to make sure we get out (and not feel guilty about it), but we need PR’s to respect that for us time = money.