I popped a poll on my Instagram stories earlier today and 62% of you beauties voted for an insightful blog about my life rather than an outfit or beauty haul. Weelllll I’m a woman of my word, and having been asked about it by some of you before, I thought I’d dedicate this post to outlining my journey into freelance life…
Following a university degree in linguistics, like most people I know, I moved to London to pursue a life Carrie Bradshaw would be proud of (although with a long-term boyfriend in tow). I interned and worked in marketing and PR both in-house and agency for several years, climbing my way up the career ladder and basically conforming to what society led me to believe was ‘right’. Working these jobs was amazing and something I’d never take back. I made some lifelong friends and learnt skills that I would have never been able to otherwise. What this time also taught me was that I was bloody good at three niches that I worked heavily in; social media, copywriting and influencer PR.
Growing up quite literally alongside the evolution of this huge digital marketing landscape meant that not only was I skilled in terms of my professional career, but I also knew this industry almost like a second language. I was working underneath women who dictated and managed my professional growth, but who in actual fact didn’t know this industry as well as me. I found it frustrating, to say the least, for my day-to-day work to be what I felt as restricted by the people or company I was working for.
However, it wasn’t only my confidence in ability that pushed me toward working for myself. I quite literally loathe the culture that the UK has towards working life and I find it wholly unhealthy. I’d see the same men and women on the tube every morning looking tired, frustrated and generally just a little bit miserable. I also felt myself starting to go in that direction. The same office, routine, people and work every day started to grind on me and I knew that this wasn’t how I was going to spend the rest of my life. To me, it seems absolutely crazy that people spend the majority of their lives in work, yet some people continue in jobs they loathe. I know life isn’t always that simple, but to me I was lucky enough to be in a position to make this change. Work to live, not the other way round. Ever.
I decided I wanted to work for myself approximately one year before I bit the bullet and launched into freelance life. I set myself a date and used this year to understand business. Little things like how to put together proposals, how to draft, send and even chase invoices, and small but prominent aspects such as etiquette at client dinners in order to make sure that I had all the tools I needed to be successful as a sole agent. During this year, I built up my own website and began working with some clients so that when I left my full-time job I already had some income coming in. That year was the hardest year of my life, but what came at the end of it was going to be the best and most rewarding thing I’d ever done…. so I was OK with it.
The day came and I handed in my notice to my job. A few weeks later (praise be to gardening leave!) I spent my first weekday working for myself. I sat in a coffee shop emailing prospective clients, setting up meetings and every so often breaking out in cold sweats with the reality of what I’d done. Getting into my routine was hard and stressful and the first few months brought with it debt, tears and one SERIOUS caffeine addiction, but seven months on I’m the happiest I think I’ve ever been in my life. Not only am I able to manage my own hours, choose my own clients and see my client successes first hand, but it’s also allowed me the flexibility to grow my blog and meet some absolutely amazing people. London has never seemed so exciting and life has never seemed so full of opportunity.
My one piece of advice for anybody hating their job – find a resolution. You’re not on this earth forever. If you’re spending more of your life unhappy than happy, what on earth are you doing?!
To anybody considering going freelance – if you have faith in your ability, drive to make it work and are in a stable financial condition, go for it. You can always take a step back into employment and you’ll at least be rid of that horrible ‘what if?’.
Guys, I know life isn’t all rainbows and I know nothing comes easy. This was my personal experience and journey and yes, I was lucky in many ways that I could make my dream a a reality. But if you want to make a change, you have total control of your happiness. Don’t let our confirmative society funnel you down a path you don’t belong.
Deep blog post, over and out ✌️
Shop the look:
Hair by Paul Edmonds
Shot by Maria Paraskevopoulou