5 Assumptions People Have When You Tell Them You’re a Full-Time Freelancer

Oct 21, 2015

Happy hump day, friends!

You know, I’m really proud of how I make my living. But, even so, it didn’t take me long to realize that there are tons of people out there who just don’t get it. Honestly, I tell them that I’m a freelance writer, and their response is always along the lines of, “Oh, so you’re, like, writing a book!”

And, despite my well practiced and levelheaded attempts to explain my career to them, I can still see their eyes glazing over and the doubts start to fill their mind.

So, since I enjoyed working on yesterday’s post about freelancing frustrations so much, I thought I’d stick with a similar theme. Today, I’m sharing five assumptions that people immediately have when you tell them that you’re a full-time freelancer!



Oh man, this one still bothers me pretty frequently. But, for some reason, people immediately equate “I work out of our home” with “Job? What job? I sit in my yoga pants, eat swiss cake rolls, and binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy all day.”

Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. However, many people simply can’t understand how you can do productive work while staying home. And, that’s ok. I promise, people, I’m working.


Alright, so I admit that I can sort of see where people are coming from with this one. After all, it can be pretty darn tough to make a living freelancing—particularly when you’re just getting started.

But, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve explained what I do, only to be met with, “Wow, you can actually make money doing that?” Or, even worse, “So, exactly how much do you make doing something like that?”

These people would rather die than ask a “regular” worker for the details of their salary and benefits. But, for whatever reason, being in a unique career field apparently makes those prying and personal questions completely legitimate.


Nobody’s ever actually said something like this to me. But, I can sense it from a lot of people when engaged in a conversation about my career choices. Perhaps I’m just paranoid—that’s entirely possible.

It’s almost as if people think that I decided to work for myself simply to spite them. Like I’m spitting in their face and saying, “You lowly peasant! Look at you, heading to work in an actual office everyday, wearing your business professional attire, with a real boss to report to. Your life is terrible, and you disgust me. I’m way too good for that sort of lifestyle!”

Listen—I didn’t decide to do my own thing to make anybody else doubt or feel bad about their own choices. I became a freelancer because it made me happy. I don’t think any less of others for not doing it. Do your thing. Shake what your mama gave ya.


This is one I know my fellow freelancers can relate to. But, when people find out you work for yourself, they love to say something like, “Oh, it must be so nice to be your own boss.”

I appreciate the encouragement and some kind words for once. And, this whole “be your own boss” thing is true to some extent. But, I always remind people that while I’m my own boss, I’m actually very rarely in charge. I’m still working for someone—my clients. So, it often feels like I have fifteen bosses. Having one traditional boss? Sometimes that sounds like an absolute treat.


This one encompasses almost every misconception about freelancing. You can wear sweatpants to work. You don’t have to leave the house. You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck. You have a flexible schedule. It must be so easy.

But, in reality, I work harder now than I ever have at any full-time job. And, I work longer hours too! Yes, there are definite perks to being a freelancer, but it’s the furthest thing from easy.

Have you experienced any of these? What other things do you know people are thinking when you explain what you do?

Until next time!