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23rd Feb 17
Looking back 5 years, day dreaming about going freelance, I genuinely never thought I’d have the guts to do it. But here I sit. Just over 7 months (yes this post has been sitting here for a month or so) since I became a full-time freelance UI designer. Happier than I have been for a long time.
The day I made my final decision to hand in my notice to my employer, I had my doubts about a few things. Some the same as I expect the majority of people making the plunge into the world of freelance. Will I make enough to cover my bills? Can I keep on winning clients?
But I also had additional fears. Back in 2014 I worked remotely for a digital agency, and without too much detail I truly hated it. I was miserable and got to a point where I was applying for jobs out of design and this stuck in my mind. Looking back now, I realise this wasn’t just due to the fact I was based at home. It was that I was based at home still structured 9-5 and felt micromanaged. I struggled to disconnect work from home and it impacted on my family life badly.
Since going freelance, I’ve kept my goals realistic. Setting my last wage as a monthly milestone to aim at on a monthly basis and so far (bar January which was a bit slow) I hit and bettered that target.
I’m not breaking any records, splashing the cash all over.
But what’s better is that I am happy in the work I’m doing, which in turns makes me happy at home. I get to meet and work with great people on UI projects that I really enjoy and feel passionate about.
My final decision to becoming a freelance UI designer rather than staying in a design agency was my last ditch to save what I used to love so much.
As I mentioned before, I’d been unhappy and had lost all passion for design and was looking for a way out until I met someone who reminded me of the way I used to feel. He had the passion, the drive that I’d lost. Working with him got my appetite back and I made the snap decision – “If I’m gonna be happy and do the work I want, there’s only one way”.
If you’ve ever thought about leaving full-time employment for the life of a freelance designer, so far from my experience, I couldn’t recommend it more. But do make sure you have a plan.
Here is a couple of tips of things I do to keep my mind on the right track:
I really don’t know what the future holds for me and my freelance UI design career but I’m excited again and I’m looking forward to it.