Question: “I’m in a long-term relationship and we’ve always had a really good work/life balance, but I’ve recently started picking up more freelance work and that, on top of my day-to-day job, sees me working seven days a week. The extra work is a really positive step for my career, but I’m worried it will affect my relationship and I don’t want to have to choose between the two. What do I do?” – Sarah, 27
Answer: You’re too busy because people are starting to see the value in your work. It’s the best worst case scenario. Hannah from Girls says it best when she breaks down her day: “I have work. I have a dinner thing. And then I am busy… trying to become who I am.”
The thing about your busy, Sarah, is that it’s a bit of a solo expedition. It’s just you, Creative Suite, late nights and designing a letterhead for an NGO that pays okay right now. It’s a situation that’s okay for the short-term, but if you’re not careful, it may all fall apart down the track. Why? Well, sooner or later, bae’s going to start questioning why Date Night has being replaced with after-hour calls from Jim’s Face Washing… or whatever the client is.
What you need is a strategy. Why are you taking on the extra work? Is it because you want to venture out on your own? If so, maybe try whittling down the full-time work. See if you can cut down to three or four days a week. That way, the freelancing can have a real chance of developing into something special.
If this is about a transition from working a day-to-day job to starting your own thing, things are going to be a bit lopsided for a while. The solution? Let your partner in on the dream, so they can understand why you need to do this. Besides, they probably want to support you, all Bonnie and Clyde like. Maybe sans the unfortunate and brutal death, though.
Dizzee Askall will be delivering a weekly lowdown on your design-related dilemmas. If you’re in need of advice or answers, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org