Fauxlancing – Regular Employment Meets Freelancing

So, I had this idea… I call it  fauxlancing

What is fauxlancing?

It’s a blend of two very different ways of working. It’s regular, full-time employment with a few freelance freedoms. It’s faux-freelancing.

Why fauxlancing?

Because regular employment has a problem: it sucks.

The Multifarious, Pernicious and Persistent Problems with Regular Employment*

Employees get a salary, a job description, a desk, a role, a place in the hierarchy, a routine, limitations, supervision, a patronising dullard to manage them, a thick blanket of bureaucracy and a few other dead weights to hang around their necks as they shuffle from cubicle to cubicle, desperately searching for something meaningful.

The fact that regular employment is often so soul-destroying is not just a problem for employees; employers should dread the sight of dead-eyed worker droids because those are the people that will lazily, inefficiently and accidentally drain the life from their organisation.

Fauxlancing is a word I made up to describe the practice of taking the good stuff from the freelance world and applying it to the world of regular employment.

The Good Bits of Freelancing

You might be wondering exactly I mean by the ‘good stuff from the freelance world’ that I just mentioned. Well, I often work with other freelancers, and the people I meet are generally confident, relaxed people who are in control of their own destiny. Freelancers take ownership of their working life. They grab their working life by the balls and get things done in the ways that make sense to them.

Freelancers are relaxed in their work because they know what’s happening. Freelancers are better connected to their work because they don’t merely complete tasks; they pitch for work, liaise with clients, manage projects, raise invoices and deal with all the admin along the way.

Because of this, freelancers can derive greater meaning from their work. They aren’t a hamster in a wheel, turning the gears of a giant thingamajig, dumb to managerial machinations, blind to the bigger picture.

How the hell does someone become a fauxlancer?

I don’t know. I haven’t really thought this through. If it’s your job to get the most out of permanent employees and you would like to chat about fauxlancing, give me a call.

*Clearly, not all employers fit this description, and many employees have terrifically fulfilling jobs with employers who nurture them.

Making the Most of Being Freelance

I’m a big fan of freelancing. Being your own boss offers a billion wonderful benefits, which I won’t go into here. But it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the daily blend of work, projects and tasks, without really appreciating the freedoms that freelancing provides.

I’ve decided to work harder at working enjoyably. Enjoying work is the best way to make it sustainable and as stressless as possible. Step 1 in my crusade to lap up the freelance lifestyle is:

Lunch by the beach

Working at The Werks means I’m only a ten minute bike ride away from the beach:

Sea view

And that bike ride isn’t particularly arduous… the entire world tilts slightly downward and my bike literally rolls me through the sweeping grandeur of Palmeira Square:

Palmeira Square, Hove 2

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I think it’s important for our sanity and internal health to enjoy life. Whether or not you’re freelance or live by the sea, you can probably create spaces in your days that give you a chance to look around and take in the view.

A former colleague had a good approach to beautifying his life: he would always drive to work along the coast road. His colleagues headed inland, where the traffic was less dense. But not him. He tolerated the traffic and just allowed more time for his journey. Less time in bed, but an infinitely richer experience on his drive to work.

Recent Contributions to Other Blogs

I’ve been a promiscuous blogger! Hope you enjoy the following posts:


Freelance Advisor

Freelance Supermarket

A Guide to Starting Freelancing

I’m really pleased to announce that a guide I produced for Freelance Advisor, Go Freelance: The Complete Guide to Starting Freelancing has been published on the Freelance Advisor website.

I often get emails from people who are interested in becoming copywriters, and considering taking the freelance route. While I always respond to these enquiries, I rarely have time to offer as much advice as I would like. Freelancing has many aspects – it’s just like running a small business – and I never have enough time to carefully and thoroughly explain the things I have learnt about freelancing.

Now I can point any curious persons in the direction of Freelance Advisor, and this guide.

Go Freelance tackles many issues affecting freelancers:

  • Marketing
  • Clients
  • Book-keeping
  • Company structure
  • VAT

And much more. It’s intended as a resource for people who are considering going freelance. But if you’ve already gone freelance, or been doing it for years, you might still find it useful.

All feedback is very useful and greatly appreciated. Let us know what you think of this guide as your feedback will help shape future editions and other guides on different subjects. And please share it with anyone who might find it helpful.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #10: Try everything

Try everything. You can’t predict where you will find work, or where work will find you. Explore your business world.

Try a little of everything and see what works. Fortune favours the brave.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #9: Volunteer Your Services

Volunteer your services. Better to be working for nothing than working at nothing. Most charities would love to hear from you. Help people. Make a difference. Do something wonderful.

And you don’t have to volunteer for charities – many small businesses struggle to exist. Help a friend or a friend’s friend to succeed in their new venture. Each bit of experience you collect has massive potential benefits:

  • CV enhancement
  • New contacts
  • Karma credits
  • Testimonials

So I recommend that you embrace any opportunity to get involved. Of course, be careful not to get a reputation as the person who does things for free.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #6: It’s a fight

This thought is probably more useful to people considering a freelance career, rather than those who’ve already taken the plunge:

Freelancing is not an easy option. Freelancers are constantly finding jobs, losing jobs, finding jobs, losing jobs… Freelancing means fluctuating fortunes, financial roller-coaster rides, and a constant fight for success.

And I love all that – but it’s definitely not easy.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #5: Don’t rely on anything

Don’t rely on anything.

Projects fall through, get put back. If you’re relying on one project or one client then you’re in a dangerous position. Have fall-back options. And sometimes it’s better to be slightly doubled-up with work because so many things get delayed. If you space everything out too much you will probably find yourself waiting for things to happen, earning nothing.

10 useful lessons for freelancers…

Gosh, well… what a year! If you don’t know me, then you won’t know that this year I turned 30, quit my day job and had a baby. It’s been an amazing, exciting year (and it’s not even finished yet!).

And here I’d like to review the freelance copywriting aspect of that. Partly to share some ideas with you, and partly to record my own thoughts.

So starting on Monday I’m going to be posting a series of ten lessons that I’ve learnt during my time freelancing. These will be super-short micro-posts.

Feel free to share your comments from Monday!

Freelancing through the economic maelstrom…

I’ve contributed a couple of posts to Freelance Advisor, and just wanted to let you know. They are:

Five Tips for Surviving as a Freelancer During a Recession


Three Reasons Why Freelancers May be More Secure During a Recession

Although the tips are aimed at freelancers, I think they apply equally to most businesses. Please add your own tips in the comments section of Freelance Advisor

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