Elaine and I spend a lot of time writing on 200kfreelancer about the benefits of a flexible work schedule. Yesterday, she blogged about what her ideal work day looks like — and though it is flexible, it’s clearly not short. She gets up at five a.m. and puts in a minimum 35-hour work week. I can attest to the fact that it’s often longer, based on our phone calls and what I know about her clients.
I work a fairly routine workday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a break in the midafternoon to pick up my kids from school. Then I almost always return to work after the kids are in bed. On either Saturday or Sunday, I put in a solid four-hour stretch at some point — that’s when I tend to get my deepest writing done. What does it add up to? Probably something like a 50-hour work week.
Because I genuinely love so much of the work I do, putting thoughts onto pages and communicating with people, my 50 hours don’t feel like a burden. Ted Jablonski blogged about the fruits of rediscovering your passion for your work in this post about going back to graduate school.
What we’d all say, I think, is that you absolutely shouldn’t become a freelancer if all you’re looking for is a flexible schedule or you believe working for yourself means working less.
There are probably a handful of people with the discipline to work from home in a job that they hate. But your chances of success in the freelance lifestyle are much higher if you can look within yourself and confidently say that you love what you do.
If the answer to that question is “No,” stick with your corporate job and keep looking for what will motivate you.