One of the greatest upsides of freelancing is that you can spot a job listing, inquire about it, get interviewed be hired, and start working on really cool, high-level projects within a matter of hours.
One of the worst downsides of freelancing is that it can all be over in that same short period of time.
Last week, I took a real double whammy of economic reality when one of my most lucrative, long-term contracts kicked me, and another writer, to the virtual curb because of “a change in the company budget.” I got a six-hour severance bonus, which was nice, but I couldn’t help briefly thinking, “Hey, what about all that hard work I did for you?” before remembering the nature of the beast.
A few days later, a new position I took that allowed me to do some really fun, really creative sports copy editing went up in smoke for exactly the same reason. I’d become good email buddies with the writer at this job, and his boss dumped the responsibility of letting me know my services were no longer required on him.
While it’s easy to get attached to jobs and projects, the fact remains that we’re hired guns, and no matter how qualified, talented, and essential we might be to a project for a given amount of time, the honeymoon is going to end at some point.
I moped for about an hour about my loss of cool jobs (and income), until the next business day rolled around, and with it new opportunities, possibilities and business relationships. By noon I was writing a resume’ for a US Naval officer, punching up copy for drug rehabilitation facilities and proofing Powerpoints for a major software solutions conference in San Francisco.