When I left a steady job to train as a yoga teacher, I thought I was saying goodbye to the stability and peace of mind that comes hand in hand with a contract of employment.
It is well accepted that it is hard to make a good living by teaching yoga full time, so I was already prepared to start picking up freelance marketing projects, alongside building my yoga business. Although I knew it would be a challenge to manage two new ventures, with unstable income streams, I was up for the challenge.
Of course the ideal situation would be to find part time employment, supplementing the transient world of freelancing with the security of a permanent contract. But it had not even crossed my mind to seek out this utopia, as it seemed doubtful that a company advertising a full time role would have the flexibility to consider taking on someone part time.
However, as luck would have it the Insurtech Gateway proved me wrong. Their openness to consider me as a candidate and their positivity towards hiring someone outside the cookie-cutter contract landed me in the ‘best of both worlds’.
For me, living in two worlds has given countless benefits and right now, I am struggling to think of any drawbacks!
Whether you are a full time freelancer or full time employee you might want to consider the advantages of the ‘best of both’, when planning your next move.
- Variety: It is an old cliche, but I do believe variety is the spice of life! Splitting my time between two world keeps both interesting and fresh.
- Cross pollination: Although marketing a challenger brand in the insurtech space might seem worlds away from teaching yoga, I have found this unusual combination complimentary. Business and marketing skills help me promote myself as a yoga teacher. And a strong mindfulness practice plus a ton of exercise, give me the space I need to allow creativity to flow and recharge outside of the office.
- Reduce anxiety: Having part of my monthly income guaranteed is a big weight off my mind. It takes the pressure off my teaching income, and massively reduces the stress of freelancing.
- Financial protection: This is a big one. When I worked full time, I didn’t think twice about whether I could take time off when I was sick or had a family emergency, it was my right as an employee. I didn’t get excited about subsidised healthcare or pension contributions, I took it for granted. I even lamented over using up all my paid holiday days. After years of financial protection, it was a big shock to be out on my own. Part time employment gives me part time protection, and I am still enjoying my new found gratitude for these often underestimated gifts.
- Social: Being self employed can be a lonely life, of course I spend a lot of time with students, but it isn’t the same kind of relationship that you can have working with a great team of colleagues.
- Future proofing: The world is fast paced, always changing. I am grateful that I am able to nurture two separate sets of skills. Learning and growing both as a teacher and a marketeer, my options for the future remain more open.
So now you are sold, ‘best of both’ sounds dreamy right? But how are you going to land that part time role?
It is going to involve a tricky meeting with your boss, or would be boss. Go into this meeting with a clear understanding of what you want and how you are going to achieve it.
Explain with confidence, how you plan to manage your part time role with your freelancing schedule. You need to show your ability to add value, with a reduced time commitment, so make sure you are pitching for a job you can nail!
The points below illustrate how ‘best of both’ can work in practice.
- Routine: Although there may be valuable cross pollination between your freelancing and your employment, I have found it invaluable to draw clear lines between the two worlds. Life is simpler when you know what your brain should be focusing on when, which follows on to my second point.
- Focus: Knowing who you are working for, when, allows you to focus in and maximise your efficiency. Flitting between several tasks in one job is hard enough, jumping between roles will kill your flow. Turn off your notification, allow your mind to focus in on the job at hand and give it your full attention.
- Be kind to yourself: The ultimate challenge for any freelancer, knowing when it is more valuable to turn down work, than taking on more than you can handle. I have found it really helpful to spend some time considering how many hours I want to work overall each week. Minus your contracted hours from this total, and then as you take on new jobs keep track of your running total. Don’t forget to include the hours you don’t charge for – Time spent marketing your own business, keeping the accounts and traveling. You can also flip-reverse this, be mindful of how much you take on in your part time role. It might sound obvious, but it is important to accept that you are not going to be able to be as productive as your full time colleagues. Remember, they are working more days than you, so naturally there will be a difference in output and this is reflected in your remuneration.
As for the down side…. Nope! I still can’t think of anything!
I am a huge advocate of the ‘best of both’ – work, work balance. And before you write off this idea, remember that if you don’t ask, you don’t get and only you can manifest your own destiny.
If you are dead set on full time freelancing, Collective are bringing big company benefits to the freelancing community.