10 Things Only Freelancers Understand

March 19, 2015
10 Things Only Freelancers Understand

If you’re reading this, then chances are that you work as freelancer, or are at least interested in doing so. This particular Translators’ Hub post is a little more light-hearted than usual, and hopefully it’ll make you laugh as well as think!

Let’s discuss ten different things that only freelancers understand. I wonder if you can relate to any of them?

1. The commute to work isn’t something to get stressed over Unlike traditional employees, who in the US face an average commute of 25.4 minutes,  the freelancer’s commute is usually as long as the time it takes to walk down the hallway. Or you can eliminate your commute altogether by choosing to work in bed!

2. Your office consists of any reasonably stable surface and Wi-Fi access Some freelancers have a home office; others use their kitchen table. Public transport sometimes provides a good workspace too.Perhaps you’ve gotten creative in your work location?  

3. Your family acts like you’re unemployed and should get a ‘real’ job As freelancing has only seen an explosion relatively recently, the concept is unfamiliar to lots of people. Resultantly, freelancing is often looked down upon as a lesser job, tiding you over until you find ‘proper’ employment. 

4. Your partner thinks working form home = more time for you to do housework Trying to stop personal life encroaching upon your professional work is a continuous battle for the work-at-home freelancer. If you live with someone else, it’s common for him or her to think that you can quickly vacuum the house or hang the washing out during your workday. And this is despite the fact that if you worked in-house they wouldn’t call you at work and expect you to do this!

5. House guests think that because you’re at home you don’t have any work to do Have you ever had guests visit during the week? Perhaps to see one of your family members? No doubt you experienced an expectancy that you’d be present to socialize too.

6. You live in constant fear of someone knocking on your door When you work from home, you realize how often people used to call on you whilst you were out working: the postwoman, the man from the gas board, salespeople… the list goes on. After a while, you start to resent the daily knocking at your door, demanding your immediate attention. And soon, you catch yourself wondering when the next knock will be…

7. The combination of good coffee, free Wi-Fi and available plug sockets doesn’t exist Ever decided to work from a Café instead of your home? If you have, then you’ll know that trying to find a place that serves great coffee and has all the amenities you require doesn’t seem to exist. You have to compromise between working offline and enjoying good coffee, running your laptop on it’s battery but having access to Wi-Fi, or enjoying both unlimited power and Wi-Fi but having to drink terrible coffee!

8. It’s easy to become isolated When you don’t have any colleagues you find yourself talking much less than you used to. And if you live alone this is only exacerbated. Make sure you plan time to connect with other humans.

9. Not finding enough work each month is a constant source of anxiety Unlike some of your friends who have guaranteed paychecks, your income will fluctuate each month depending on your workload. Wondering whether you’ll be able to keep the lights on, especially when you first start freelancing, is a constant worry.

10. Returning to traditional employment is very hard It’s possible that you may have to consider a taking on a part time job if you work freelance, and returning to this sort of work environment can be difficult. As a freelancer, you’ve become accustomed to doing what you want when you want, and you’re looked up to as an authority in your field. But in the traditional world of work, it’s unlikely that your employer will look on these things favorably.

Final thoughts

No doubt you understand a few of these things – which points in particular resonated with you? Or perhaps you have some things you’d add to this post?Please do let us know below

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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