- Jenny Stallard
Dreaming of your Great Resignation? Maybe you're 'Freelance Curious'...
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
During lockdown and the height of the pandemic, many people began to see a different side to working life. The home office, no commute, the boss a distance away via a Zoom call rather than breathing down your neck...
You might have sat at home during furlough and begun a blog, craft hobby or enterprise and now begun to wonder if it could be something more.
Suddenly, you're imagining the walk back into the office - face to face again with your boss - and resigning with great fanfare and thrill. "I'm going self-employed!"
If that all feels familiar, then you're one of the growing number of 'Freelance Curious'. And you're by no means alone. We're in the midst of a 'Great Resignation', and, for many, the lure of freelancing or being self-employed is strong.
People per hour saw a 63% increase in freelancer registrations between March 20 and 21, while CV library's survey found that one in ten employees now has a side-hustle.
But while it can be exciting - and it might be your perfect next step, being Freelance Curious is just the beginning. It's laced with so many 'what ifs..' from world domination to total failure via regret and dreams of Dragon's Den.
The freelance curious sit in the middle of a Venn diagram between 'real jobs' and 'self-employed'. From those of you who are facing redundancy to those who have started a side-hustle in lockdown, the 'Freelance Curious' are a growing group. I've been one of them on and off for 15 years, moving between freelance and staff jobs.
Some are now building a business while they're on the commute back to the office. Others are spending their weekend on an Etsy project. Many are using the resources at their workplace to help make the leap (yep, from the printer to the free training...). There is lots of talk of a 'freelance boom'! But just like dating, once the first flushes of excitement are over, there is a lot of hard work to be done. Still, it entices, and joining the 'freelance curiosity club' might be a step you're considering. For the Freelance Curious, there is still a leap to make - 'THE' leap to self-employment. And it might be that it's not for you. That's a tough line to write, and, I'm sure, to read. But it could be that it is just a side-project, it is 'just' a blog about your dogs...
The question is, how do you decide? Friends and family might say 'go for it!' because they love you, and see your desire to strike out alone. Your company might even be offering redundancies that seem the 'perfect way out'.
Self employment appeals for many reasons - the autonomy, flexible working, freedom, and an improvement in mental health. Telling your boss that you're going it alone has a phenomenal power to it - I know, I've done it. I have 'gone freelance' three times in my life, so I know the push and pull of a 'real job' and the perceived security it brings. I also know the thrill of handing in your notice and the hurt of redundancy. That was me in April 2017 - redundancy from a newspaper knee-jerking me back to freelancing.
I have found a balance, as a 'blended freelancer' - I am a writer, a coach, a speaker, a podcaster... yes, one of those 'squiggly career' people. But for me, freelancing demands it. It would demand the same of anyone who is 'Freelance Curious', too.
So here's the checklist to see if you are fitting the freelance curious gang...
You know you're freelance curious when...
You start looking at Etsy with jealousy while browsing for a gift, and wondering how your account would look...
You've googled the web address of the company you'd set up
You have notepads filled with ideas - including squiggles and doodles of logos
You follow freelancers longingly on social media
Your amazon basket is filled with home office products and you've been browsing fancy laptops and looking at office layouts on Pinterest
Dragon's Den and the Apprentice are no longer entertainment - they're research (You're also following all the dragons and their investments on social)
You're back in the office - and the best bit is using the printer for your research print-outs
You invite that self-employed mum from the school gates for a play date... to pick her brains..
So, what next? If you're feeling Freelance Curious, I can help. I work with freelancers and the self-employed, but I also offer coaching for those who are considering the leap to being self-employed.
Through coaching, you can find clarity on whether freelancing is for you, what format that might take, and how to crack on with going for it!
Coaching isn't about me telling you whether or not to make the freelance leap. It's about guiding you through the challenges you're facing so you can make your own informed decisions and own them.
To make the most of delving into the Freelance Curious feels, I recommend a set of three 'pure coaching' sessions, with a fourth session looking at your CV, LinkedIn and social media and how they fit in with your plans. The price for this set of four is £499 (incl VAT). It's best to have your coaching sessions weekly so we can really dig deep into the WHY of your freelance curiosity.
Want to chat more? Head on over to my Coaching Page and fill out the short form. I look forward to hearing from you!