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Freelancers come across a lot of myths about their profession. In the same way that non-tweeters say Twitter is “a bunch of people tweeting about their breakfasts”, people who don’t freelance have a lot of ideas about what we get up to.

Here are a few of my favourites:

“Freelancers? They’re just people that work at home in their pyjamas, right?”

Of course we don’t*. Just look at Poppy from What I Wore Today – glam and freelance. Plus a lot of freelancers work in coffee shops etc. Turns out, wearing your oldest Winnie the Pooh pjs to Starbucks is a no-no.

“Ooh, I’ve got a day off. Bob must have some free time, I’ll drop by unannounced for lunch.”

Please don’t. We’re either busy trying to hit a deadline, or rocking bed hair and no make up. Probably both. Either way, it’s gonna get awkward.

“Freelancers can take a holiday whenever they want, right?”

Sure. As long as we don’t mind going unpaid for a couple of weeks. Or, more likely, doing all the work in the weeks before (and therefore spending the holiday recovering). We are however, masters of the weekend away.

2“Freelancing isn’t a stable job”

At the moment, I’m going through the process of mortgages and house hunting with the boyfriend. Despite the fact that:

a) I’ve worked with a number of my clients for a couple of years, and they’re happy to confirm that this will continue into the future.

B) I earn 50% more in my freelancing than I do in my part time job.

Our mortgage advisor will only take my part time job into account, as the rest isn’t stable enough.

Personally, if you have a wide variety of long-term clients, I don’t see why it’s any less stable than working in a company where redundancies are possible. In fact, some companies are turning to outsourcing to us freelancers, rather than taking on a full time staff.

“Freelancers are unsociable, preferring to work from home rather than in an office”

Bollocks. I’ve met more people, and made more friends, through freelancing than I ever did through working in an office. We work from home for a multitude of reasons, but personally I prefer working for myself, I’m more productive when I work from home and I have more freedom with my career direction.

* I’m lying. I’ve been known to slip down the slippery slope of slobville. You start off in smart jeans and a top, downgrade to a pair of more comfortable jogging bottoms….and before you know it you’re wearing a onesie, and the postman asks if you’re off sick today….

What myths have you come across about freelancing?

6 comments on “Five myths people believe about freelancers”

  1. I don’t freelance any more, but I do work from home, and the first two are the worst for me: I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase “working from home” in a sentence that doesn’t also include the word “pyjamas”! I am overdressed almost all the time – sure, I’ll check my email etc in my dressing gown when I get out of bed, but then I’m getting dressed, the same as everyone else! Also, the fact that people assume that you’re “just sitting at home all day” and are therefore free for unexpected visits, and to drive people here and there is just infuriating. How do they think I pay my mortgage if I’m “just sitting at home all day? 

    The thing that annoys me most, though, is the idea that if you’re doing it at home, it can’t be “real” work. Once, a family member who shall remain nameless responded to me saying I was tired with “I don’t understand how you can be tired: it’s not as if you work?” Grrr!

    • Oh god the “real work” thing is the worst. On a regular occasion, I hear “So, when you going to get a real job”. 

      It’s particularly amusing as home workers often work harder, and for more hours, than those who are employed by others!

  2. The one that gets me is the “but you can control your own schedule!” comment. Er, yes, I could – if I wasn’t the only person working for me, and hence the only person to pick up the phone, do the work, go to the meetings… if there is a crisis, I’m the only person who can deal with it. 

  3. All of the above.  And…someone recently gave me a newspaper clipping of a job advertisement for a dubious sounding ‘home working’ job.  Umm….I *already* work from home and barely have time for a lunch break let alone take on what they think is ‘a proper job’!  Same person is also a big fan of ‘popping in for a few minutes’ only to sit here for 2 hours waffling…

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