What I've Learnt From My First Year Of Self Employment

In December I celebrated my first official year of being self employed and within those first 12 months I've learnt some really valuable lessons. People constantly tell me that being your own boss is the best thing in the world and in a lot of ways it is but it comes with an incredible amount of responsibility. There are things that come into my day to day life that I definitely didn't think about when I made the big leap into self employment. So here are some of the things that I've learnt during my first year of being a freelancer:

- People have absolutely have no problem with asking how much you earn within about 60 seconds of hearing you're self employed.

- Biscuits become a serious desk essential (coconut rings and custard creams to be precise).

- Not having any job security is a scary thought but personally I think that is what pushes me to work even harder. 

- Taking time off is hard, there is no such thing as sick pay or holiday leave. 

- A good pair of sweatpants are a vital purchase when you are sat in front of your desk all day. 

- Working from home is a blessing and curse all rolled into one, you can go days without leaving the house and start to have real in depth conversations with your dog.

- The relationship you have with your earnings becomes completely different, every single penny counts. Not having a set in stone pay packet at the end of the month is strange to get used to in the beginning. 

- Your to do lists are suddenly your new best friends.

- There are dry spells that are incredibly scary, it happens with all businesses and the first time it happened I remember being petrified what was going on.

- Then other times you will be so busy that you will want 9 days in the week and more hours in the day.

- It's ok to have Skype meetings in your Lisa Simpson leggings as they cannot see you. 

- If a job doesn't exactly go to plan it's super important to learn from it, being self employed is a huge learning curve. 

- Standing up for yourself is key, companies will do anything to take advantage of you and will expect you to just do the work for free just because you enjoy the work you do.

- No one can judge you for not wanting to wash your hair that day even though you probably definitely should have. 

- Learning to do your tax return without an accountant is a very valuable experience. 

- A lot of people tend not to take those who are self employed very seriously, as obviously we just sit at home doing nothing all day apparently as that is a great way to make a living.

- Not having a traditional work schedule can become tricky when it comes to social gatherings.

- Saving is the new spending, personally I like to have 2-3 months bills in the bank at all times just to make sure I'm covered as work can be so un-predictable. 

- It's hard to say to somebody in a 9-5 job that you're having a rough time with work because it instantly makes you sound like you're ungrateful for what you're doing. 

- Having a break is so important, it's easy to get into bad work habits when you're your own boss but everyone needs and is entitled to time off. 

What lessons have you learnt in your career?
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