A Day in the Life of a Freelancer
Updated: Mar 12, 2022
Masuma is a Junior Account Manager at Aam and is based in London, UK.
The freelance life is great - you meet lots of different people, work with different clients on many projects and you learn a lot. On top of that, you can work from anywhere around the world and manage your own time. Have a family occasion in the daytime? No problem - work your hours in the evening. Are you a night owl and morning snoozer? Also not a problem - work through the night and sleep through all your mornings because your hours are yours to manage.
Sounds like the dream life, right? But like all work setups, it has its disadvantages too. Would I be lying if I said I miss having a shared office space with my colleagues? Nope. But I am also grateful to have colleagues - a team of women dotted all around the world who come together on Slack, Google Meets and Notion to bring a brand to life. We’re bound by our love for flexibility but also crave that community comfort and I like to think Aam strikes a solid balance between the two.
As a freelancer, every day of the week is different - so it’s difficult to run through one day and say it’s reflective of all my days. Usually, I work 9-5. But some days, if I want to go out in the afternoon, I’ll start my workday at 6am and finish by 1pm and then log off.
If I work while traveling, my days are even more sporadic. During my trip to Pakistan, I’d wake up early and work for 2-3 hours, then go out for sightseeing, then come home and work another 2-3 hours, then go out for evening plans and when I’d get back from those plans I’d join a US-based client call. Super hectic and crazy but it’s a great feeling to know you can work and travel.
Work and travel shouldn’t be two separate entities where you need to slave away at one thing just to earn the other. So many people are very strategic with the holiday they take and when they’d take it - it would also be great to just work while you experience a different country too.
Now I think you’ve heard enough from me, let’s see what other Aam team members have to say about the freelance life –
Nivita Sriram, Account Strategist:
I started working at what used to be LifesforSocial in 2020 and have had the wonderful opportunity to see our company grow into what is now Aam Creative. Working alongside such driven, talented, and intelligent women of color has pushed me in so many ways. I’ve grown confident in my professional career, but personally too. Working freelance full-time is no easy feat - I think people underestimate how much grit it takes to work on your own, while building an amazing team. I’ll be starting my masters in writing program at JHU in May, and I’m certain that I wouldn’t have had the drive to pursue a higher education in a creative field without Aam.
Amrita Krishnakumar, Junior Account Manager:
As a full-time student, balancing my university work with my marketing career is often challenging. However, I have found that designating times to work on presentations and attend meetings have actually helped me effectively tackle any studying I am yet to do and produce high-quality work. Most of us are doing many different things, dipping our toes in various industries, and it creates a wonderful sense of camaraderie. I wouldn't change anything about the work I currently do; just reminding myself to keep feeling grateful.
Rithika Muralidharan, Business Development Manager:
Working for Target Corp full-time and doing Aam as a side hustle is definitely a lot but I truly wouldn't have it any other way. The corporate life is very structured so I work from 8-5:30 (with a lunch break) every day. But for Aam, I get to work whenever and wherever I want. Sometimes I work early mornings or nights or weekends if I'm free. The biggest challenge is how global the Aam team is so coordinating meetings can be tricky with time zones but we find a way to make it work. I do get asked a lot why I juggle two jobs but I have a passion for Marketing which is why I'm here. The team is absolutely incredible and so talented. In addition, I am making such a big impact at Aam and it’s hard to make this much of an impact at a massive corporation.
Drashti Sheth, Art Director:
I was always freelancing during my full-time jobs for extra income. It was only in 2019, after quitting my job that I decided to make my side hustle full time and see if this is a lifestyle I can enjoy or grow into. For me, the only perk is the freedom of scheduling and variety of clients. If I didn’t value my work-life balance as much as I did, I would have never left a full-time job. Freelancing may “look” glamorous but anyone who is looking to deep dive into it full time (only from a design POV) should definitely be mindful of these learnings that I gathered over the years:
Your Home = Your Office = Not Healthy. Since I am a remote freelancer - I miss having a “space” where I can dump all my stress and anxiety. I ended up bringing it home because that was my office. I wanted to fix it and hence I am now constantly in cafes or traveling because I wanted to be productive and less stressed.
Don’t get into the habit of “working” breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was only in Year 2 that I started drawing boundaries. Snooze those Slack notifications! I value my cut-off time and food slots a lot more now.
Emergency Funds. I think it’s really easy to get excited when you bag a big project and think that’s going to be the case year on year. Every business and brand has a slow period when they are not spending on marketing and design. I learned it the hard way that 6 months of great earnings stopped being great when I had to use them towards the 6 months of small to no projects. I am now mindful of my “net income” versus spending. And bagging retainers early on has definitely made me feel more secure about going solo.