I raised the question a few weeks back in a freelancers group about what didn’t we all miss about working for someone else. Despite the achievements of working for yourself, there are always the things you do miss about being in someone else’s gainful employment. The little things like the guaranteed wages in the bank every month. Having other people around you all day to have idle chit-chat with (granted that can also be a negative). Sick pay. Holiday pay. When you become self-employed those things can feel like a luxury at times. Add in the emotional rollercoaster of starting your own business and avoiding going broke as a freelancer!
But the things we all didn’t miss seemed to be quite universal and everyone could relate to them. Perhaps these are rooted in the reasons we’ve all gone over to the dark side of self-employment in the first place!
When I lived in Dublin it would regularly take me around 90 minutes to do the school run and then get to work. It was a total of about 4 miles. 4 miles!!! It would probably have been quicker to walk if I didn’t have a small child in tow. That daily awful commute just set my day up to go from bad to worse. The poor child would regularly be late for school. I would then be late for work and it felt that the earlier I left each morning the longer it would take. It became a daily worry and a major source of stress.
When I moved back to the UK I had an awful job that gave out warnings like sweeties for being late. It didn’t matter what the reason was, it was like being called to the headmasters office. I totally understand the need to have staff all playing by the rules. Having some form of discipline that everyone arrives on time. But in today’s world, I can not fathom how employers don’t understand that everyone has different living circumstances. Sometimes getting up in a morning, getting a child ready, navigating traffic, perhaps dealing with an unreliable car, public transport and the unpredictable actions of other road users, can feel like climbing a mountain before you even arrive at work. Why do you want your employees arriving stressed out each morning just because you can’t get your head around flexible working?
2. ATTENDING MEETINGS ABOUT MEETINGS
I wonder how many business hours are lost every year by the needless meetings that could have just been a quick phone call. Or better still, an email that you’ll never read.
I’ve lost count at the number of meetings I attended during the proper job days that were an absolute, total and utter waste of time. Time that I could have used to do some actual work! Most meetings are arranged because the so-called leaders are incapable of making a decision or don’t want to take the responsibility. They feel the need to let others think it’s a joint decision when really it’s more about arse covering for when said decision all goes wrong. I don’t think I could tell you about a time I’ve walked out of a meeting back in those days when I felt like I had learnt something or been suitably informed.
3. OFFICE POLITICS
And let’s not even go there on the water cooler bitching. This is just another form of bullying. Having been on the receiving end of this type of behaviour, I can tell you, it makes me even more happy that I got out of that awful environment.
SUCH A DRAG
Even though the self-employed, freelancer life can be hard at times. Even though there are times when every freelancer has taken a sneaky peak at the jobs websites and thought it might just be an easier option. And when all your employed friends know exactly what they will earn next month. I’d still rather be out in the world doing it all my way.