Working 9 - 5?
The thing about being a freelancer is that you’re often very busy – and not just between the hours of 9 and 5. We caught up with freelancer Nicola Venning, who is one of those whose work life spills into out-of-office time.
“I’m a journalist and writer, and have been contributing property and feature stories to national newspapers and magazines (FT, Sunday Times amongst others) for over 10 years.
“Without doubt, the best aspect of freelancing is the flexibility it offers and the wider range of stories I am able to work on.
“For instance, recently, I was talking to a Russian billionaire about an interview for the FT, then I researched and wrote a piece on the Florida housing market and, finally, did an interview with Hollywood star Danny de Vito for Young Performer magazine– all in one week!
“The trickiest thing about working at home alone is ensuring your skills are up-to-date – and wide-ranging! Not long ago, I accepted a short-term PR contract as maternity cover. I was using my interviewing skills while working with clients, and my writing/press skills on editing and promoting stories. But I also had to rapidly acquire management and professional admin skills – not something you generally need in the day-to-day work of a journalist at home, so venturing into 9 to 5 was useful.
“The other appealing aspect of freelancing is how it fits in with family life. When I started freelancing, my two children were very young and working from home was enormously helpful – and it still is. I can do an interview in the morning, take a child to the dentist in the afternoon and finish the story in the evening. Brilliant! These days, however, I have teenagers, so working from home can be a bit of a liability!”