Are you thinking about taking the leap into freelancing after becoming a mum? It’s a bold move that holds immense potential for achieving that elusive work-life balance. I embarked on my freelancing journey just before my youngest turned one, and as she celebrates her eighteenth birthday, I reflect on the valuable lessons I’ve learnt along the way. Here are some insights to support you as you consider this exciting way of working.
- Skills Assessment: Evaluate your skills and passions. What are you great at? What do you enjoy doing? Aligning your freelancing gig with your strengths and interests will help set you up for success.
- Financial Strategy: Be realistic about your financial situation. Freelancing often comes with irregular income and not every pitch will result in a project. Having some savings as a safety net during lean months is essential.
- Time Management: Balancing work and motherhood requires top-notch time management. Set clear boundaries between work hours and parent/home/you time. This can prevent burnout and ensure quality time with your children.
- Networking and Marketing: Freelancing involves not just doing the work, but also promoting your services, and in the early days it can feel frustrating that the majority of your time is spent on the latter. Brush up on your networking and marketing skills to build a strong client base, and embrace these new skills that you are developing.
- Isolation: Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation. Combat this by joining freelancing communities, attending networking events, finding flexible working spaces and maintaining social connections.
- Work-Life Balance: Freelancing offers the flexibility you crave as a mum and empowers you to blend your professional and personal life more seamlessly. You can design your work schedule around your children’s routines, making it easier to attend those precious milestones and appointments.
- Tailored Career Path: As a freelancer, you’re the boss. You get to decide the type of projects you take on, allowing you to tailor your career to your skills, values, interests and schedule. Freelancing also provides the flexibility to pivot your career as you and your family’s needs change.
- Skills Expansion: Freelancing exposes you to diverse projects and clients, fostering continuous skill growth. This can make you more marketable in the long run.
- Increased Autonomy: You’re in control of your freelancing journey. You choose when to take breaks, which projects to accept, and how to run your business. It’s empowering!
- Reduced Burnout-Risk: Freelancing enables you to set your workload and pace, reducing the risk of burnout that can be prevalent in high-pressure corporate environments. You can prioritise self-care and prevent the exhaustion that often comes with trying to meet corporate demands.
Freelancing is an exciting and liberating career choice, but it’s not without its challenges. Building a successful freelance career requires a healthy dose of resilience – a mindset that empowers you adapt, learn and grow in the face of setbacks.
When considering freelancing as an alternative to returning to a big corporate job, weigh those factors against your personal and professional goals. It’s a unique opportunity to create a work life that perfectly aligns with your values, family commitments and aspirations. Each path has its challenges, but with careful consideration and the right mindset, freelancing can offer a fulfilling and enriching career journey.
For me, it offered the best opportunity for me to return to work on my terms. There have been highs and lows, and definitely times when the allure of a ‘proper job’ with a regular income seemed tempting. However, for me it’s been the right decision and thanks to some carer pivots, upskilling and continuous learning I’m now working on projects I love, supporting others making career related decisions.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like a quick discovery call to see if career coaching could help you decide if freelancing is the right path for you.
August 27, 2023