There’s a somewhat negative connotation to being a freelance designer. I’ve worked hard to gain credibility as a designer, and I’ve had corporate gigs – but I’ve never had the creativity and lust for my work life that I have now as an independent.
A common misconception is that being a freelancer means that you’re either unemployed or unemployable. Truthfully, I’ve had more job offers (and some really good ones) as a freelancer than I ever had when I had a straight job. I know, however, that as soon as I pigeonhole myself into a job or a genre or a style, I’ll lose some modicum of my creativity – and that’s something I’m not willing to part with. No matter how good a steady paycheck and 3 weeks paid vacation might sound.
As freelancers (designers, writers, programmers,) we’ve really got to work hard to keep our credibility. We’re outside the traditional thought, and that can make people – including potential clients – a little uncomfortable. As freelancers, our work has to be better, more creative and in the upper eschelons of goodness. We must do what we say we’re going to do – and when we say we’ll get it done.
If we don’t, we fail. People won’t come back, and our reputation will suffer – and that’ll always catch up with us.
The best way to face the (seemingly inevitable) negative vibe associated with being a freelancer is to be excellent. In everything.
We have more to lose than the traditional employee. We have more to gain, too.