The other day I answered a few questions on Instagram stories regarding working from home, freelancing and pretty much avoiding the 9-5 ‘daily grind’ at all costs. A few people messaged my directly asking how I avoided the pressure of graduating and getting a ‘real’ job and how/when I knew that working in an office wasn’t for me. For one, I’ve always known I’m way to chatting and fidgety to sit for 8 hours a day in a room of 30 odd people.
So, I thought I’d cover a few key points about my work life, what I do and trying to figure out what the perfect job for me is.
There’s definitely so much pressure whilst at fashion uni to intern and work your butt off for free (whilst also paying £9k on tutition) for respected fashion brands and companies. Countrary to most people I know, I only interned for free for 4 weeks at ASOS in my second year. Although I thought the experience was great and I learned loads about ASOS, I was massively out of pocket after paying £425 on trains and only being reimbursed for £200.
I’ve always had a strong opinion on working for free because ‘you’re meant to, to be successful in fashion’, it’s bull! Even in retail, if my shift went over by 15 mins or more, I made sure I was paid for it. I think this is important because so many young people think that working 12 hour days when you’re only paid for 8 hours is ‘just part of the job’.
Over the past couple years since uni, it’s only reafirmed to me that I’d be rubbish if a boss told me to stay longer without being paid more. The British are so polite, but like they say, time is money, and if you want my time, you pay me money!
Now, I don’t mean that in a demanding way but I think it’s important to know your worth. Which is really vital when branding yourself and working from home and/or freelancing.
I started working from home at the begining of this year after leaving my retail job with no job to go to. Because of the nature of the job roles that fit my skill set, a lot of them are work form home as social marketing can be done anywhere as long as you have a laptop and wifi.
I found a 30 hour-per-week role that I started in January doing social marketing/influencer marketing/PR/photoshoots (basically anything social/marketing/creative) for a small watch brand.
For the first couple months, working at home is great! You spend all day in pyjamas, hardly wear makeup (your skin is great!), there’s no commute and very little over head costs. Then a couple months in you realise you’re spending to much time at home, hating your life, SICK of pyjamas, wanting to wear a full face of makeup, spending all the money you’re making and take walks to the fridge every 30 mins.
6 months later, you’ve finally found an equalibriam! You leave the house enough times a week to not go mad, have invested in loungewear (mentally very different to pyjamas!) and you have other working from home/freelance pals that help you out! I went through a very difficult couple months before summer wanting to jack everything in and just get a ‘real’ office job for the sake of people understanding what you actually do, fitting into social standards and not worrying about what you want to do with your life! I applied to so many jobs, had trials days, so many interview but any job I was offered I turned down. I’m not entirely sure why I did, but I just couldn’t see myself in any of the jobs I applied to as they were all office based.
I 100% take my hat off to every single person who works in an office, I WISH so much I had the mentality to be able to do it and to work your way up in a company. But my brain and personality just isn’t wired up for that, and that’s totally okay!
Last month I also took on a freelance job one day a week in a creative office space (still finding sitting down all day difficult, even if it is only for 8 hours a week!) doing social media content creation for a little extra pocket money.
Freelancing and having a job with no contract is a weird thing, I’ve done it for a few other companies over the past few years and I’ve spent so much time chasing invoices! It baffled me how so many companies don’t pay on time! But the plus side is being your own boss, taking on the work you want to do and having complete freedom in your workload, flexibility and holidays.
I’m not entirely sure what my ideal job is, I know my dream job but that require a lot of start up money, whip-round anyone?
But at the moment I am LOVING the flexibilty my jobs allow me, if I want to work 9pm-1am, I can. If I want a Wednesday to be my day off, I can. And if I want to book a holiday tomorrow and take my laptop to the Maldives to work, I can.
Writing this blog post has really helped me realise what I love and don’t love about working. I really don’t like a structured system and love freedom with my work and I think it’s important to remember that.
I hope this blog post has been interesting and that speaking about my own life hasn’t been too self indulgent. And I also hope that if you’re working in an office, freelance, from home or inbetween jobs you’re doing amazing and the perfect role for you will come! (Super lucky if you’ve already found it!)
If anyone has any questions I’d love to know and share! Send me a message over on Insta @paileaa