The Way We Work
August 23, 2011 by Stephanie Gonzaga

Being freelancers, we’re in control of how we spend our work hours each day.  Some would work consistently on client projects, while others divide their time between billable projects and activities for self-fulfillment and personal happiness.

Although the latter is often viewed as “work for free,” many freelancers willingly do so because 1) it saves them from the wrath of being burned out, and 2) they love what they do and love dedicating time and energy to do work which brings them happiness.

Fulfilling work could be anything: from setting up fundraisers to offering to proofread your friend’s next book to building a website for your favorite nonprofit organization. All you have to do is identify what kind of work you’d be willing to set time aside for. Here are a few examples to inspire you to get up from your chair and do work that makes you happy:

  • A freelance writer works for at least five hours a day writing blog posts and website copy for various clients on a wide variety of subjects. Although her freelance work pays well, she particularly likes writing about home and lifestyle topics–something that she doesn’t get to write about for work. To solve this, she creates a blog where she can share her tips, advice, reviews, and plenty of other topics revolving around her own interests.
  • A freelance business consultant finds himself constantly working with medium to large companies to help them improve their business tactics and strategies. Although the work is time-consuming, he doesn’t back down on an opportunity to meet self-made entrepreneurs, startups, and individuals with a dream. As a way of helping these people, he shares classic business tips to those who approach him, usually via email or phone.
  • freelance web designerA freelance designer is very active in a nonprofit organization that works to provide education to less fortunate children and scholars. Passionate about providing education to the needy as well, he offers his design services twice a month, creating high quality brochures and pamphlets for the organization’s cause. And to kill two birds with one stone, he uses this opportunity to showcase his best designs to prospective clients.
  • A freelance web developer makes it a point to work according to her set work schedule, from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM. She’s disciplined herself with these hours in order to spend the remainder of her day writing short stories for children, creating educational apps for the iOS, and babysitting her nephews and nieces for her sister. What most don’t know about her is that she can never have children herself, but nevertheless, she finds joy and contentment in making other people’s children happy. So, she makes time to do it.

A passion, an experience, and even a challenge can push you to do work that makes you happy, even though there is no monetary gain at the end of the day.

You can, of course, showcase your “soul” work as samples to interested clients, attracting projects that utilize your freelance skills or that you enjoy. But in the end, what matters is that you are truly happy with your weekly activities, whether they all involve a neat paycheck or not.

As a freelancer, do you take time off to do work that makes you happy? Is it a project in line with your freelance services, or is it just a project you contribute your time and dedication to? Share your stories in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

Stephanie Gonzaga

Freelancer, Blogger, and Creative Writer

Stephanie Gonzaga is a freelancer on oDesk and blogger of The Freelance Pinoy, a freelancing blog for the Pinoy solo professional.