Recently Freelance Folder posted an article called Should You Freelance During a Recession that contained lists of things to consider for current freelancers and for those who are considering freelancing. They also made the point that you can have a regular job and freelance – it doesn’t have to be one or the other.
Somehow I’m glad I didn’t see this article before I made my decision because I might have felt like I didn’t have all aspects in order. But the recession is what kept me from making a decision about whether I should freelance full time for quite some time.
Originally I planned to start freelancing full time in January. My job gave the time between Christmas and New Years as paid time off and I didn’t want to pass that up. ;-) But then a combination of factors made me decide to keep my job; my Mom passed away, the recession got worse, and my ex got laid off.
My Mom passing away didn’t directly affect my ability to freelance full time but it hit me hard and I didn’t have any motivation to do anything except what I had to do for a good month.
By the beginning of the year the recession was really being felt all over even if it hadn’t been directly impacting your life. Prices were getting higher for food and other goods, friends were losing jobs and there was this overall feeling of insecurity. I thought that it would be stupid for me to let go of a full-time job and that the best thing to do was to work full time and freelance in order to have multiple income streams and to earn as much as I could.
My ex got laid off in January. Child support was reduced and we lost the health insurance for the kid because he was providing it. This frightened me and made me feel like I should work non-stop to cover everything.
But I got through these things. I started to feel better about my Mom, found health insurance for Alex and stopped depending on the child support. Sometimes we need it but for now I’m trying to save it and not consider it reliable income.
And once I got past the fears and made my decision everything fell into place. I’m continuing to get work, have time to actually do it now, and have a lot more time with the kid. I’m calmer and my house is slowly becoming cleaner.
I often thought that maybe I was an idiot for leaving a job in a recession. It’s not like I can find another one right away if the freelancing doesn’t work out. But so far, so good. And everyone, even people I didn’t think would be like my Dad, have been super-supportive.
But back to the article. I think it offers some really good things to think about. And if you still have a full-time job do what I did – freelance part time and see how it goes before leaving your job. I’ll also say that it’s easier to go for it if you have an employed partner who is providing you with benefits. Makes it a lot easier.
What do think? Is full time freelancing during a recession foolish? Or do you think the recession is creating more opportunities for freelancers?