I think one of the most frightening and exciting times of my career was when I decided to go freelance, it was one of the thing had wanted to do for several years but never quite had the guts to.
About five years ago I used to work for a company in Cambridgeshire, I got on well with one of the business partners who wasn’t happy there and we talked about setting up on our own. We were both a little scared and ended up taking an easy option whereby a backer, who had a repro and print company, set us up with us both having a minority share. This was the worst decision we could have made and after 2 years when my friend decided he wanted to move abroad. Whereas I should have got a hefty bonus as we had made a very good profit, I got practically nothing. I could have stayed there working under the Managing directors terms but this was the kick I needed to finally go it alone.
I was scared to death I wouldn’t get any work, but luckily my boyfriend who’s amazingly supportive said not too worry and we would manage on his wage for a while if we needed too. Fortunately we didn’t have to. I contacted a company I had produced designs for, while employed several years ago, I knew they were not using that company any more. The company produce electrical sockets, cable reels and switches etc, and they had told me previously they liked my work, they agreed to see me and gave me their catalogue and some packaging to design.
I contacted a couple of other design agencies I had worked for in the past and they gave me work too. I remember going in to see one of them for a chat (one of the best places I have worked) but it was quite weird seeing them after several years. We had a bit of a chat but one of the partners was too busy to talk for long and they said I don’t suppose you could help us out with these exhibition panels while your here, so I had some impromptu freelance work on the spot so to speak. In fact the first page of my job book is nearly entirely filled up with companies I had worked for in the past.
If you want to go freelance, stop thinking about it and do it, you won’t find many people that say they regret it and remember to look up your old contacts as well as search for new ones.
If you are a freelancer, do you remember your first time?