5 Things I’ve learned about going from a 9-5 job to a freelance work from home job
When you work a 9-5 job you go in the same time every day and you clock out the same time every day. It becomes so mechanical that you can do it in your sleep. Although that schedule can become mundane at times, there is also some comfort in knowing you’ll be getting a steady paycheck every two weeks, paid vacation days, sick days, etc. That’s why the majority of people take this road.
You could say I chose to take “the road less traveled” or at least the one that has a lot of potholes and is waiting to be paved. The steady schedule, the steady pay check, the benefits…I gave that all up to work from home on a freelance basis. Why would anyone want to give up security like that for a job that included an ever-changing schedule and unstable workload? Two words. My kids.
By the time my second daughter came along you could say I was getting antsy in my 9-5 job. I needed to do something else. I also wanted to be home to raise my two young daughters myself. So, my husband and I decided I would stay home and take care of the kids and try to find something that I could do for home. I instantly knew what that was going to be. I was going to write from home and get paid for it.
Wanting something and making it happen are totally different. Here are 5 things I’ve learned about going from a 9-5 job to working from home.
- If you don’t take it seriously, no one else will. When people first asked me what I was doing after I quite my old job, I would first say stay-at-home mom. The word writer would trickle down a few sentences later after much explanation. I eventually realized that if I didn’t take this seriously and answer “writer” first, no one else would. I was extremely proud of being a stay-at-home mom, but I was also proud of being a writer.
- Treat it like a 9-5 job. Work for blocks of time as you would at a “real” job. Take coffee breaks. Take lunch breaks. Schedule time off. Act as if everything is the same except for the fact that you’re at home.
- Realize it will take time to grow your business. Just as you practice to become good at a sport, growing your business if you work from home is going to take time. Realize that you may have to take lower paying gigs or that the work from home pay scale may not be what you are used to.
- Have discipline. Working from home requires discipline because you don’t have a boss over your shoulder 24/7. Whether you are working from home for a company or working from home for yourself, you need to have discipline to make sure the job gets done at the end of the day.
- Take advantage of your “unscheduled” schedule. One of the benefits of working from home is usually creating your own schedule. When you have kids, this is key and is one of the many reasons people choose this option. If you have to go to your kid’s concert in the morning maybe you’ll have to work a couple of hours when the kids go to sleep. Take advantage of creating your own schedule so you can still get your work done and enjoy the things that are most important in your life.
As I continue on this working from home journey I’m learning more each day about what it takes to be successful at it. There are plenty of ups and downs. As long as the ups outweigh the downs, working from home is where it’s at for me.
About the author
Kristina Cappetta is a mom, blogger and freelance writer. She has been writing at The Mommy Rundown for more than five years. Before becoming a freelance writer, Kristina was a TV News producer.