Freelance Files: Taking a Detour Into Salary Land
I read a very insightful post by a designer I admire the other day and it got me thinking. I subscribe to Caroline Kelso’s newsletter and she spoke about re-evaluating one’s goals. As always, she and I are often on the same brainwaves, and what she said really resonated with what’s currently going on in my life. This is my second week at my new job, and I feel truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with a friend that I look up to and respect, make a very decent wage, and have an opportunity to learn a ton about a new area of design that I have virtually no experience in. It sounds great, but there’s one thing that keeps catching me up; It’s salary. The inner freelancer in me keeps nagging at me, saying I’m no longer free and that I’m working against my goal to become a self-sustaining freelance business.
I realized though, that even though the hours aren’t what I want them to be, and I can’t work from home, and I have some imaginary number of days I’m allowed on vacation, there IS value in what I’m doing and everything will move me closer toward my goal. You have to put your life in a different perspective:
The future is not set in a straight line. There are twists and turns and new challenges around every corner and in order to get to your destination, you have to adapt and take side routs.
My choice to take a salary position was both a necessity and a strategy. I know that right now, I want the big house (renting of course) near the ocean, and I want my home office. But because rent is 3 times as expensive as I’ve ever paid, I have to be patient, and take the work that is in front of me. I don’t consider this settling, nor do I feel that I’m “getting comfortable”, because it isn’t comfortable yet. I think my biggest challenge will come from needing to feel in control of my own life. I really took for granted the flexible hours that Sears afforded us. I was able to come in at 7:30 in the morning and leave by 4:30 which meant I avoided both morning and evening rush hour commutes and still had time to work on freelance or personal projects once I got home. Now I don’t feel like I have the luxury of working when I feel most creative, and am forced to work on other people’s schedules because sometime way before I started they all agreed that they wanted to sleep in.
I must have faith that every thing I do, will get me closer to my goal. I also took this job to try something new. I had been in marketing for retail for 3 years under different (but similar) companies. It got old. I was looking for a challenge, for something new to learn and I got what I wanted in that respect.
There are days when I feel discouraged, because I come home and have just enough time to feed and walk zero and feed myself before it’s time to sleep, wake up and do it all over again. I constantly wonder where the hours of “living” are supposed to be. But then I think back to what Maria Papova said at Typo a few weeks ago. She said that thinking about work and life needing to be balanced means that one is good and one is bad,