Lately I’ve been noticing many of the bloggers I know are going from employee to self-employed, and although many of those bloggers have discussed all the ups and downs involved in that transition, I thought it was about time someone wrote about what it was like from the other side of the coin: what life as a freelancer’s wife (or partner) is like.
My husband has been freelancing for as long as we’ve known each other. I’ve never really talked about what my HB does because I’ve always respected his privacy, but this topic is very important to me, and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.
Freelancing can honestly mean anything these days. You can be a freelance blogger, a freelancer graphic designer, or a freelance audio engineer. My husband followed his passion for music and jumped into the world of audio engineering six years ago. To this day he still loves what he does, but that doesn’t mean that’s sunshine and roses all the time.
You know that quote “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Well, that’s a nice idea but my husband loves what he does, and he works harder than anyone I know. You see, freelancing isn’t just about getting the job done, it’s about finding the next job at the same time.
Not only that, but you are also never really not working. If you get a call from a client, you can’t ignore it because it could mean getting your next gig. As his partner I had to get used to him answering every phone call and accepting the fact that any plans we made for the weekend or at night might have to be cancelled.
There were definitely some hard times with us, mainly due to scheduling. When I was a student and he was working it was a bit easier because my schedule was way more flexible. Once I started working a 9 – 5 job, that’s where the trouble started. I got comfortable with my daytime job and free weekends and would get irritated that whenever I made plans with friends and wanted to bring him along, most of the time he wouldn’t be able to make it.
Eventually I learned to turn it into a positive thing by being more independent and more understanding that he was following his dream and I needed to support him. He always supported me, so I needed to be there for him just as much.
Another issue that would come up from time to time was how different our financial situations were. I knew exactly what I would make each year whereas he wouldn’t know until the year was up. He never really knew when his next payday would be whereas I could confidently set up automatic transfers into my savings accounts and investments every bi-weekly paycheque. Eventually we created a system to track our mutual spending and bills, but it was a lot of work and a lot of saving and counting receipts.
Now, I’m explaining all of this in case any of you are thinking of becoming a freelancer or maybe some of you can relate to my experience? It’s not an easy life being a freelancer and it’s something I know I’ll never do, but my HB loves his career and if you check back here on Wednesday, you’ll get to see some of his answers to my questions about what he thinks about being self-employed.