As we all know, freelancers are absolutely invincible! Freelancers never get sick. It isn’t allowed! We aren’t hired to fall ill, we’re hired to work.
But, of course, there are a few of us in the freelancing business who are rebels… Sick, sick “rebels.”
Your Body Will Betray You
All right.As much as I would like it to be true, it’s a myth that “freelancers never get sick.”
No, really. Freelancers are people too! And people, from time to time, get sick.
However, how you handle your illness can mean the difference between keeping your clients (and the gigs they pay you to perform) and losing it all.
“Head Down and Power Through”
Last week, I was sick. But I was able to keep my “head downand power through”(while listening to Arrested Development reruns in the background). It meant that I was taking Tylenol every four hours to stave off the fever. It meant I had a barf bag next to me so I wouldn’t need to make too many time-consuming trips to the bathroom.
It also meant that I got the job done.
It was miserable and tough to get through, but I did what I had to.
If you want to get paid, you have to work.
Plus, I had plenty of time on the weekend for rest and recovery.
Taking Time Off by Planning Ahead
I’m not saying you should plan to get sick.That’s just weird. I’m saying that you should plan ahead with your work.
For instance, for articles, I usually tell clients that I will have the order done within ten (10) days from when I receive their payment. In reality, I usually get back to the client with their finished product in three to five (3-5) days.
By allowing myself that extra time, I have a few days of “just-in-case” time! That way, if I get sick — and I mean really, really sick — I can take a little time off to recover before forcing myself to “power through” and get the work done.
There are going to be times when having a box of Kleenex and a bag to barf in next to your work station isn’t going to cut it. There are going to be times when you just cannot work. Those are the times that you should take a break.
By making sure your deadlines are far enough into the future — and that you keep ahead of schedule — you’ll find that you’ll be able to take a day off now and then.
Your Clients Are People Too
Chances are, your clients are people. And, if this is true, then your clients have probably been sick once or twice in their lives as well. They know what it’s like.
Provided you’ve always done good work in the past [and you don’t take advantage of them (no one likes that!!)] your client will most likely understand if you need to take a day or two off.
Your client hired you to get a job done. As long as you deliver the goods — even if you had to take a couple days off — they usually won’t care.
It’s all about the final product.
Oh, and, feel better! I’m rooting for you. 🙂
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of bylined posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers. Thousands if you count all the articles she’s ghostwritten (but she’s not allowed to talk about most of those).