It’s the usual, ‘textbook’ story. Fed up of the daily grind, many turn their backs on an employment contract for the freedom of being their own boss. It’s either-or; no risk or full risk. At least – that’s the conclusion most of us would jump to. But while some of us are willing to ‘take the plunge;’ for others, entrepreneurialism is not the remedy. Dynamic Business spoke to ex-business and financial manager, Christine Law, who discovered a way to ditch the grind with a contemporary, [almost] no risk solution.
With an official 5.5 day working week mixed with a gruelling cocktail of weekend travel, early morning meetings, evening “entertainments” and red-eye flights, Christine became exhausted by her corporate career in Hong Kong:
“It was basically 24/ 7 on call when needed and required,” said Christine.
‘A definitive decision to leave the corporate world altogether’
In 2009, Christine made the call and returned to Australia – but the move itself was not the answer she was looking for. After 3 years working with an engineering company, Christine made a definitive decision to leave the corporate world altogether.
Christine said “I took up a 2.5-day part-time offer working for a friend’s company, just to give me some time to think about my next move.”
Harnessing the power of technology and the boom of online communities, that next move was discovered within an online freelancing platform called Upwork. The Upwork platform brings together businesses and independent professionals to enable them to collaborate remotely on projects.
Through Upwork, Christine has secured 40-50 hours work per week with as many as 10 different companies, and she claims to be earning 10-15% more than through permanent employment. Christine’s projects have ranged from managing company payroll to overseeing finances and business management.
‘Freelance may not be suitable to everyone in any industry’
While Christine comments that there are some risks associated with freelance work, such as having to chase invoices on rare occasions, the benefit(s) far outweigh the risks: “Freedom!”
Christine said: “I’ve just returned from a 10-day road trip to the outback; carrying my portable office: laptop, wifi router and satellite phone as I travel. I can also take time off to accompany my elderly parents to medical check-ups when needed,” Christine said.
Although the flexibilities offered by freelance work have proven fruitful for Christine, she warns that others tired of the daily grind shouldn’t just ‘jump in with both feet:’
“Depending on the person’s skillset and personality – freelance may not be suitable to everyone in any industry. Being pragmatic, patient, disciplined and having good time management skills are crucial to being one’s own boss.”