Ah, the best job on earth – working when you want to, for clients you love. If only the reality matched the fantasy…
1. You will never work harder than when you are self-employed. You imagine that you’re only going to take on projects you enjoy, and if things get too hectic you can turn work down. In reality, you’re so scared you won’t get another assignment that you say yes to everything that comes your way, so you end up pulling loads of all-nighters.
2. You quickly learn that working in bed and not getting out of pyjamas is pretty gross. In fact, you’re jealous of your friends in the corporate world because they have a reason to put on heels. It seems a bit much to put on lipstick and mascara if no-one’s going to see you while you type away at your dining-room table.
3. You love, love, love coffee shops with Wi-Fi. You end up on a constant caffeine buzz from all the lattes you buy, just so that you have a legitimate reason to stay in your coffice (you can’t exactly sit there, hogging a table, if you’re not going to spend any money).
4. The sound of an e-mail arriving in your inbox is the best thing on earth… Even better than getting a WhatsApp from a guy you like because it just might be a client with a new assignment – and a chance to earn more cash.
5. Your brain is on constant overdrive because you are constantly networking. Every person you meet might know someone who might know someone who will be able to give you work.
Related: How To Get A Job You Love
6. Unless you’re Jewish or Catholic (and, therefore, naturally feel anxious for no reason, almost all the time), you will never experience as much guilt as when you take an afternoon off. Half the fun of working for yourself is supposed to be setting your own hours, so if you want to have a midweek time-out you can always make up for it at night. Except that when you do, you feel like you’re bunking.
7. You actually really don’t mind all the long hours. Because knowing that every cent is for yourself is the most empowering, satisfying feeling on earth.