The Lure of the Full-Time Gig
Something odd happened a couple of months ago. Well, the something itself wasn’t odd (a call about a full-time job offer) – it was my response. “Keep talking,” I said, as opposed to shutting them down. It was an intriguing offer, backed up by some amazing and talented people. I was impressed. And for someone who’s been freelancing for the better part of a decade, impressing me with a full-time gig is hard to do.
I mean, just the other day I realized that I’ve now worked for myself longer than I’ve worked for anyone else. Like, EVER.
But, they had a good pitch. The call went well. The interviews went better. I was getting sucked in, and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I was also pretty confident that an offer was coming, especially when they asked about salary requirements.
Suddenly I was faced with existential angst – not quite the turning-into-a-cockroach bit, but I was definitely torn. What do I tell my clients? Do I really want to give up setting my own schedule, working from home, my FIVE “Fs”? Can I really deal with office politics and commuting and Karen stealing my lunch and company retreats? But I do miss colleagues and steady paychecks and weekend stories and happy hours and bagel Mondays…
Much to the dismay of my spouse, kids, and even the mailman, who was almost rudely disinterested, this went on for almost two weeks as I waited for the offer.
On one hand, I was worried that I misread the situation and they DIDN’T want me as bad as I thought. On the other, I was sorta relieved that I didn’t have to deal with the decision.
But then came the call – not quite an offer, as they couldn’t even meet me at last year’s take-home. As it turns out, I’m doing pretty well as a freelancer. Like “holy shit, I’m actually making a real living doing this” well. So, based on the package that they described to me, I would have had to give up a lot more than my freedom to take the job, as awesome as it might have been.
It was weird – or like I said before, odd – because this wasn’t the first time I’ve been recruited, but it was the first time since 2008 that I actually considered it. Like REALLY considered it. If nothing else, it forced me to take a long, hard look at the life I’ve chosen. And for all the ups and downs, chasing down payments, and never having a Christmas bonus anymore, It’s still the life for me.
At the end of the day, much like watching my single friends date and then looking lovingly at my spouse, I took solace in knowing my worth – and just how lucky I am.
©2017 by Kwame DeRoché