Advanced search

Would really appreciate some advice about returning to work (gulp)

(16 Posts)
flashingnose Thu 18-Aug-05 11:19:13

In a nutshell, I left F/T work nearly 7 years ago when pregnant with my first child. I loved what I did and was good at it. My third (and last) child has started at nursery and I contacted my old company about the possibility of working for them part time at home - big thumbs down as being impractical, so I started retraining at college for a completely different field that would enable me to work locally and from home.

However, I saw a good friend yesterday who I used to work with and she has told me that I would be in demand as a freelancer and could expect to earn pretty decent money.


I'm scared! I've lost all my confidence in a working sense and surely you have to have bags of it as a freelancer?

The industry I'm in is pretty pressurised (i.e. client says jump and you have to respond immediately) but I've made the decision to work around my kids rather than the other way round. I can't afford three lots of childcare, so wouldn't be able to do anything between 2.30 and 7.30.

I just don't know what to do.

Mum2girls Thu 18-Aug-05 11:25:37

Sorry, but it sounds stressful to me...the confidence thing you could work on (after all you must've had it before!!) but working in a demanding environment but at the same time saying 'no' to what is effectively half the working day doesn't sound like a go'er to me.

flashingnose Thu 18-Aug-05 11:37:46

Hmm, I know what you're saying. One thing in my favour is that I know someone like me is pretty hard to come by - it's a very specialised field and it takes more than two years to train someone up from scratch. I also know that there are projects that are not so pressurised - I just haven't worked on them.

Anyone out there who's gone from F/T to freelance?

Nightynight Thu 18-Aug-05 11:49:21

If you started working, would you be able to afford an au pair to help out?

flashingnose Thu 18-Aug-05 11:54:58

Crumbs, I don't know. How much are au pairs?

Can you tell I don't really know what I'm doing??

Nightynight Thu 18-Aug-05 12:03:52

my au pairs cost per month: 300 euros (salary), 30 euros (health insurance), 40 euros (language course), 50 euros (travel to and from language course) plus all they can eat. But that's in Germany.

Lots of people in my industry are freelancers. One of them once told me that he reckoned 30% were top notch, really good at the job, 40% were just average, and the bottom 30% were so useless that they just never got found out because they only take short contracts. I felt considerably more confident about freelancing after that.

Toothache Thu 18-Aug-05 12:06:47

FN - I don't know if this counts, but I am a Contractor registered as a ltd company. Is that what you mean by Freelance?

I returned to work F/T last week. I huge wrench for me. My field is quite specialised too. What do you do?

flashingnose Thu 18-Aug-05 12:08:39

Thanks for that (scurries away to find calculator).

Do you set your own hours? Does that mean you have to turn a lot of work away? Is it mostly repeat business? Sorry about all the questions.

Toothache Thu 18-Aug-05 12:12:38

FN - I can set my own hours.... noone checks up, but I need to be available during the clients office hours as I have to go to meetings with them. This job is fulltime with one client, ongoing contract.

flashingnose Thu 18-Aug-05 13:34:26

This would be for different clients and I could theoretically never see the people I was working for. Hmm...

flashingnose Thu 18-Aug-05 22:14:38


nooka Thu 18-Aug-05 22:47:23

Depends on what it is you do. If it's the sort of job where you get set a task and you go away and do it and then deliver at a set time then you could probably work it around your family. You need to be very disciplined and a good judge of how much time a task will take. If you have been out a long time then you may find it hard to sell yourself, as client may want recent references etc. I would advise doing some research in particular to find out the going rate, the competition, and the demand for what you want to do. I'm not freelance, but know a lot of people who do. I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice here.

flashingnose Fri 19-Aug-05 09:43:26

Thanks nooka, that's all very sound advice. I think you're right, I need to look into things properly to find out how viable it is. And I'm slightly concerned about how self-disciplined I am (or not) .

nooka Fri 19-Aug-05 10:02:35

Good luck flashingnose! Works really well for some people. My time management skills are terrible (I can't even cook to time - I'm always way too optimistic) so I don't think I'd quote very well.

alicatsg Fri 19-Aug-05 10:25:23

you might also find agencies that will help do the marketing for you - there are loads in the marketing area I'm in. If thats your bag then CAT me and I'll send details.

Gobbledigook Fri 19-Aug-05 10:29:21

Marketing - I didn't do anything special in this sense. I approached my old employers in person and talked it through. When I had a quiet spell I sent out some spec emails with my CV attached and got another couple of clients that way. Just by chance.

Time management - I have such limited work time that if I don't work then, I don't meet deadlines. So I don't have to be 'disciplined' if you like, because there is just no choice in the matter! If I want to keep working and I want the money, I just have to get on with it. The way it works with my clients is they say they've got x amount of work (e.g. number of days) and their deadline is whatever day and then I say whether I can take it on or not. I just work it around my other commitments then.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: