Hello oracle, I'd be very interested in your thoughts here. I am currently employed p/t, but my company is going through some turmoil, which is making it a very uncomfortable place to be. I have one LO, who is with a childminder at the mo. It is possible to work freelance/as a contractor in my field and this has been appealing to me as the work environment gets more tricky. HOWEVER, we would like to have another LO soonish. My company's maternity pay isn't great and comes with a very big pair of handcuffs, so if I stayed for the second pregnancy, I'd be tied to where I am for another two years, I think.
So, could I start doing f/lance now, and keep it going to a degree with a new baby? How long would you say it takes to establish oneself as a freelancer? I am lucky in that I have an OH who works, but we need me to bring in some income too. Urgh. What do you think?
I left my permanent job and freelanced before falling pregnant with DS. We had lost our first baby halfway through the pregnancy and it really clarified things for me - life is too short to hang around kicking your heels in a job you hate for the sake of a bit of maternity pay!
I freelanced for a year and earned about 30% more than I had in my management job for about 30% less work - cutting out the bullshit meetings etc is very productive! By the time I had DS1 I had a healthy amount saved up and was very comfortable during maternity leave, despite only getting Maternity Allowance. I did a couple of freelance jobs when I returned to work and could easily have found more but decided to take a permanent role again.
I feel like making the move into freelance was a scary step but now I've done it I will ways have it as backup. It enabled me to live a lifestyle I wanted and make good money which was very important at the time. Of course, it varies so much by industry and I was lucky to have a friend who had made the jump to freelance to help encourage me - do you have any freelance contacts who can talk you through the reality of it?
Thank you both. I think I share your sentiment, but I am N.E.R.V.O.U.S. Thanks to your initial encouragement, I am going to ask a friend in a related sector for more pointers... Modwife, can I ask what made you go back to the permanent role after the freelancing?
Sure - it was the stability. Although I always got paid for my work it's a bit nerve-wracking worrying about finding your next job and whether your clients will cough up - a friend ofine is chasing someone through small claims at the moment. Also the permanent job lets me work from home and is flexible around my kids, so an ideal solution really! I wouldn't go back to an office job now.