From Salaried Employee to Freelancer

The calendar marks the 1st of July – we are at the midpoint of the year 2023. On the preceding day, the 30th of June, I completed my salaried obligations and now find myself once more amidst the landscape of freelancing. This isn’t a voyage into uncharted territory, but rather a return to a familiar path.

With the advent of this natural turning point, it feels appropriate to inaugurate this blog, an evolutionary chronicle of my professional metamorphosis.

The accompanying photograph represents my workspace, a composite of two desks, conjoined in an L-shape. As you can observe, it appears chaotic, a manifestation of the ever-increasing entropy, perhaps.

I’m not one for tidying my desk. Sure, a spotless desk can be a mood booster, but there’s something to be said for a bit of mess too.

The clutter comprises items I frequently use or tools I’m particularly fond of. There’s a certain tedium in the cycle of neatly storing and retrieving them, and I find it more efficient and conducive to productivity to leave things be.

Piled among the disorder are documents and materials needing review. When these mount up, it serves as a reminder that there’s much to be done. The process of completion would declutter the desk, which can be a spurring motivation. Though, in reality, the my desk almost never decluttered.

At this moment, I’m typing this blog on the white desk, with my Mac Book Pro.

This white desk serves multiple purposes. It’s my dedicated spot for my personal Mac, and also where I dine. Given that I reside in a one-room tiny flat in Tokyo, it naturally doubles as a dining table.

The brown desk previously housed the company-provided PC. In an attempt to enhance efficiency, I had positioned two screens here.

Now as a freelancer, I have the liberty to conduct all my tasks on my Mac – a change I find truly refreshing.

My current laptop is a Mac Book Pro fitted with an M2 Pro chip, boasting impressive performance and impeccable specifications. By contrast, the company-supplied laptop was a Windows PC running on an Intel Core i5 with a scant 8GB of memory.

Operating four or five applications on two external displays made it noticeably slow, leading to a wearying experience. Software like Illustrator would frequently freeze soon after initiation.

I spend more time on the company’s PC than my own. The fact that the laptop getting the bulk of the usage had inferior specifications compared to my personal one was a source of substantial irritation. This was one among the many reasons that convinced me I was not cut out for the typical company employee.

One of the benefits of freelancing is that the power of choice is vested in you. Choices pertaining to contracts, work tools, work hours, and holidays all rest with you, allowing for a broad spectrum of personal discretion.

I anticipate continuing to undertake assignments from my former employer. Although yesterday was my official last day, having returned the company’s PC on my last office day, I had already been working on my Mac. My work efficiency experienced a notable surge. I believe that transitioning to freelancing can enhance productivity, even when the work is identical to that done as a full-time employee.

Higher productivity translates into surplus time for other pursuits, thereby making it possible for me to write this blog, for instance.

The only truly irreplaceable loss is time. One might argue that life or youth are equally non-recoverable, but I see these aspects as being intrinsically linked with time.

In any case, my intention is to cherish and utilise wisely the remaining span of my life and youth.

This day, the 1st of July, is significant as not just the day I transitioned back into freelancing, but also as my birthday. Indeed, it appears to be an apt juncture for a new beginning, whether or not such a move is warranted.

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