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February 20, 2013
Ad-Verse Reactions: Full-Time vs. Freelance
 
“The quality of life is determined by its activities.”
—Aristotle
 
“Quoting the ancient Greeks always makes you look smart.”
—Me
 
I’m very committed to maintaining and building my “network” — as I’m sure you are as well. So when a recruiter buddy of mine suggested that I have lunch with a friend of his, I agreed.
 
HIM: Freelancing (his Mrs. carries the salary and benefits) and a dad like me. Worked at several of the big shops in our area, but had given up the full-time world in exchange for the freelance existence. Basically admitted he was “finding himself.”
 
ME: Well, you know. Digital copywriter with offline background. Dad. Voted Talent Zoo’s #26th favorite columnist.
 
Who has it better, Full-timer or Freelancer? Let’s go to the completely fabricated videotape!
============================================
 
COMMUTE
Me: 45 minutes, minimum, each way.
Him: It’s a maximum of 50 steps between my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and office.
Advantage: Him.
 
SCHEDULE
Me: I may not have to show up at 8:30 on the dot, but I’m NEVER done by 5:00 and working late nights a lot. Sometimes weekends too.
Him: I make my own schedule. I never miss my kid’s soccer games. And I only wear pants three days a week.
Advantage: Him.
 
BOSSES
Me: My current creative director is always pushing us, and sometimes it’s warranted. Other times, it’s a bit much. Better than most of the other ones I’ve worked for, though.
Him: Hey, if they want extra concepts and rounds of revisions, I can bill more.
Advantage: Him.
 
COLLEAGUES
Me: These art director kids are fun, although they usually want something weird for lunch. The account execs are usually OK, although if I get one more incomplete creative brief, I’m getting out my bat.
Him: My dog hangs out at my feet all day, and I get to pick up my kid at school at 3.
Advantage: Him.
 
CLIENTS
Me: The better my work, the more the 1% get richer.
Him: Some of my clients are mom-and-pop businesses. It’s nice helping people live the American Dream.
Advantage: Him.
 
PAYCHECKS
Me: Every two weeks, like clockwork. And an annual bonus, although that’s taxed.
Him: Every day I’m hustlin’. There’re times that I finish a project and don’t get paid for a couple months.
Advantage: Me.
 
CREATIVITY
Me: As much as I want to and try to “push the envelope,” most clients don’t want or appreciate truly innovative thinking.
Him: Same here.
Advantage: Tie.
 
OVERALL
Me: I like the stability, but most days are mostly blah. And I’d love to have more time for my family and hobbies.
Him: I have no stability and my income is inconsistent, but most days are pretty cool.
Winner: Him.
 
RESULTS
It’s the same as ever. If you can somehow afford it, the freelancer’s life is the way to go. But in this economy, few can live that way. (Related: A Facebook buddy of mine announced he was hiring a writer, and got 40 applications in four days.)
 
Are you a Full-timer or a Freelancer?
Does your life rock or suck?
Share in the comments below! 

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After a year of creative incarceration in Corporate World, your beloved Corporate Hack finally distracted the guards, outran the bloodhounds and scaled the wall to make his escape. Now that he’s back where he belongs in Ad World, he’s re-branded himself as The Inside Man...but he’s still having Ad-Verse Reactions. 
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