Can freelancing bring us closer to an anti-job life?
Or is it a trap?
I’m currently a full-time employee but have been re-orienting my life and finances to go freelance (in the next 12-24 months, hopefully first experimenting with total funemployment).
I used to think that freelancing would suck worse than “normal” employment, and it does seem like it’ll still be a lot of work, but there’s a lot of appeal to it in terms of living according to antiwork principles:
Work is fully transactional and pre-defined in a contract or a scope, as opposed to a job where the boss can keep asking you for stuff willy-nilly without extra cost to them (if it’s a salary job with no overtime) and there’s a high cost to saying no
You can work for multiple places at once, which diversifies your income and makes it easy to walk out on bad situations
You manage your own energy as you see fit, taking as much vacation as you want
However, I think about the possibility of ending up even more trapped, and I can’t tell how much of it is real and how much is fear-mongering by employers. Beside the challenge of finding health insurance as a freelancer in America (I’m assuming the internet can innovate solutions for this soon), I’m just afraid that I’ll let the feeling of instability turn me into an even worse workaholic.
Also, I watched The Gig is Up the other day and it’s scary to think a freelance model could end up like what they call “the gig economy” (though the more I read about it, that’s really just a buzzy name for a job arrangement that pretends it’s not—a real gig economy would have true autonomous and democratic platforms to facilitate it).
I’m still determined to try out working outside of a full-time, dictatorial job arrangement. It seems a lot of the US is going there too, as it’s expected to become a “majority freelancer” nation this decade. Have any of you made this transition? Does freelancing still force you to act like a work-humper? Any insight helps—thanks!