It seems that many people dream of the at home job. Imagine being your own boss, income being in direct relation to your work ethic and drive. Never do people think of the down sides of working from home. I know I didn’t when I first made the plunge.
Since the age of 15 I have always worked from someone else, since the age of 14 I worked in advanced web programming (beyond HTML/CSS). Web design and development was once a hobby and I had never thought it to be a full time job nor working from home and getting paid.
As I progressed in the business world, making more and more money each year, I also progressed in my programming skills. Everything seemed to be all in place until one day a friend of mine asked me to work with him in his web development business.
At first I worked on some of his clients part-time and then worked full-time at a bank. At the time he had an office and I had driven there a few times a week to work. I had seen his life, creating his own work schedule. Making good money and being his own boss. Each day he determined what he would work on, if he even had planned to work that day. As long as he finished clients by the deadline life was good.
I dreamed on the life he lived. Because of this dream, I started to hate my current job and look forward to this part-time web work. Then one day, he had mentioned that he had a plethora of work to be done, enough to keep me busy for months. The next day I quit my job.
Ever since I’ve been chasing my tail, working everyday and meeting client demand. Each month has been a race to acquire funds or finish projects in time. I gave up my old boss and steady hours for up to 8 bosses (clients) at a time and 16 – 24 hour work days. Though I am a lot happier doing a job that I love, I’ve obtained a lot more stress in my life. I know know the down sides of working for yourself. And from home (the office idea stopped when I started taking on clients for myself rather than through him).
Top 5 reasons why I dislike working on my own:
- Day and night I feel like I should be working. I no longer have that detachment from work. When I had left my previous jobs I no longer had thought about it. Now, even a holiday can make me feel guilty for not working.
- Knowing where the next paycheck will come from no long exist. I used to get a steady paycheck every two weeks. Now I have to search for work and hope they pay me a decent amount. The stress of finding money is always over my head, even when I have found plenty of work and have a fully bank account I still worry about further down the road.
- No more routines. I have to stay motived on my own to get work done. It’s hard to balance work and life when there is not clear cut work day. Especially when working from home where it’s so easy to be distracted by family.
- Sick days are a thing of the past. Now if I get ill, I lose days worked. There isn’t anyone else to take my place to finish the work. Sometimes I’ll go a few days working very sick just to get something done. Where normally I’d be in bed sleeping.
- Sociability, I no longer have co-workers. Meeting new people and have a place to go is gone. I now work from home and I’m limited to meeting only clients and people at late night dinners
Top 5 reasons why I love working from home:
- I always get a good night sleep. If I stay up too late one night, I rarely have to worry about getting up early the next day. This is only not true when I have a meeting with a client.
- Freedom. When a random friend comes to town, it’s not a federal case to stop working for a few hours to see them. It’s easier to drop something and work on it later as long as the deadline is met.
- Working in my PJs. I do less laundry getting up and working in my pajamas. It’s comfortable. Though, it’s been suggested to me that getting up and dressing for business puts me into work mode and that I’d be more productive.
- Easier to relieve stress. If I get stressed on a script that won’t work. I can easily just take a break, watch a movie, walk my dog, or take a nap. Sometimes it’s easier to just take a step back and clear my head to solve an issue.
- My income is directly in relation to my motivation and efforts. I can make as much in a year as I want. Though, it may depend on clients and demand. But I can charge what I need and I usually can find a client to fit that need. Where as before I was limited to a set budget. (it’s a good and bad thing really)
Before you think about working from home. Think about how your life will change. Think about your income and every factor that will change with day to day life. Make sure you are self motivated enough to get done each day what you need to. Or else one day you’ll be searching for a job, and take the first one you can get.