Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Friday, November 07, 2008

How to Not Lose Yourself in a Steady Gig

by Kristen Fischer (FSW)

Most of us rely on steady jobs to help us make it financially as freelancers. Whether your steady client is a “bread and butter” client, or is a bit more watered down in pay, these gigs can be valuable to tide you over between larger projects.

I’m a big believer in steady work, also known as part-time jobs. They provide a constant cash flow, and give you valuable exposure in your industry that you may not get while project-hopping.

But there are downsides to working for clients on a regular basis. Especially if you want the diversity of freelancing but somehow find yourself “stuck” in a job that financially supports your freedom to freelance but doesn’t give you the time to explore projects and promote yourself. Read on to learn how to combat these trials.

Problem #1: You’re fried after working the gig on a day-by-day basis.
While most of my steady gigs don’t require me to work every day, there are some that have regular hours. I’ve always tried to keep a habitual gig. Most recently, mine involves waking up much earlier than I’d prefer. By the time I’m done with my day’s work, I don’t want to do anything else.

The easiest way for me to battle this was to get in a routine. Since I’m up earlier in the day and exhausted when I’m done with a three- to four-hour shift, I use the time after to get things done around the house or run errands. I don’t delve right back into work unless I have to. Knowing that I need that break is essential and has helped me get a second wind to tackle more work later in the day. Also, I found a gig that I don’t do every day. This way, I get days to sleep “in” and focus completely on random projects on days off. It’s the perfect balance for me, because I want a steady job but also like to keep freelance projects rolling in.

Problem #2: You don’t have time to explore other work.

Read more!

link | posted by Kristen at 6:07 AM |

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