“I’m thinking of leaving my job, and going freelance. What do you think?”

Question: Hi, Alan! I’m currently working in the printing industry here in Manila as a Layout Artist. I’d like to know if my situation suggests to you that it’s time for me to lose my job. Here it goes:

1. I feel unhappy at work.

2. I’m always harassed by clients.

3. I feel uncomfortable with our office/workspace. 

4. There is too much pressure stress I can’t endure nearly every day.

5. My workload exceeds what I’m supposed to do according to my job description.

6. Though my boss is good, he doesn’t listen, and does things that unnecessarily complicate my job.

7. I think my boss is getting too greedy for new projects.

I’m thinking of leaving my job because I’d like to be a freelance artist. By that, I may be able to manage my time.

I know you have the best suggestions on this. Thanks Alan!

Manila, Phillipines

Answer: Soap, it did not take me even a minute to conclude that, at the very least, you ought to consider leaving your job. The way you see your job, the way your job makes you feel, and the absence of positive purpose in your description of your daily life at work definitely all suggest that this job is not for you. That is easy to see.

Should you, instead, become a freelancer? That is a more complicated question, although it boils down to this: “Are you prepared to try to be on your own, which entails the greatest freedom you can imagine, yet the greatest burdens you’ve ever experienced, too?”

Being on your own as a freelancer permits you to work for whatever clients you choose, and to turn down clients who are just too difficult. You can work when you want, where you want, and do what you want. You can charge whatever you want. You can set all of the rules.

On the other hand, you’re also free to go broke, because there is no weekly paycheck when you work for yourself. You are also free to not get paid by unscrupulous clients after you have done great work for them. You have no more paid vacations, no benefits such as health insurance, no right to unemployment benefits, no more paid holidays. Just as you are unhappy, harassed and overworked as an employee, you may be unhappy, harassed and overworked as a freelancer, with one exception: as a freelancer, you can’t quit.

I think that every person – if they ever consider going out on their own – owes it to themselves to try going out on their own. I describe it as the best, and the worst, although overall the best, thing to do in life. I “tried” it about 25 years ago, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. I enjoy every minute . . . almost.

Six years ago I wrote a newsletter on this topic that I suggest you read:  “Navigating Yourself to Self-Employment – Your 10 Critical Steps to Going Out on Your Own.” To read it, [click here].

Hope that helps, as always. If this has been helpful, please consider “Thanking Us” by recommending us to a friend or two on Facebook, LinkedIn, or your other favorite social media. To do so [click here].    

    Best, Al Sklover

© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.