Are You a Free Agent?


#1
  • I’m a Free Agent
  • I’d like to be a Free Agent
  • I’m actually happy working for the man

0 voters

I’m curious, how many folks listening to Free Agents are actually working for themselves? How many are aspiring free agents? How many aren’t either of these, but still find the podcast useful/enjoyable?

I ask in part because I’m actually in the third category. I have a jobby job that I like and I’m not looking to make a change in the immediate future. Being a free agent is more of a “someday/maybe” thing for me (perhaps in association with early retirement). I listen to free agents because it’s interesting and I get a lot of stuff out of it that I can apply to my job and life in general (eating the frog, for instance).


#2

I’m in the middle of “working for the man” and “I’d like to be a free agent”, I was a free agent for many years, and loved it - but I love my job now too. So to keep myself happy I’m doing some side things, but still enjoying myself :slight_smile:


#3

Great distinction! You can be completely happy “working for the man” and still apply of the stuff we talk about on Free Agents. IMHO, Free Agency is about control - I want to have control over how I go about my day, and I want to be able to say “no, that’s not in alignment for me anymore.” You don’t have to be an independent freelancer to start thinking that way about your life holistically though. You can start saying “no” to the status quo while designing the life you want regardless of your working situation.


#4

I agree with mike, for me the difference between a free agent and not, is the realisation of control. The defining line is not actually working for yourself or even having a side hustle, these just tend to be things that free agents collect.

I think of it a bit like, just continuing to grow up, at some point most of us moved up out of home and became independent from our parents, and in doing so we had to start taking control of the things in our lives, paying bills, buying groceries.

Sadly a lot of people never do this with there working lives, when I was at IBM there was a manidory meeting every year with your manager to discuss your career, and in many ways career progression was prescribed, a free agent is anyone who, rather then just taking the oath handed to them, chooses there path, even if it is the same one.

Taking charge of your life involves paying your own bills, being a free agent means taking charge of your career, prioritising the most important parts through whatever means.


#5

I left the practice of law, and my own firm with my husband partner, because I have 5 kids, 4 teenagers at once, years ago. Developed my own tech business through evolution as I went from practicing lawyer to admin/computer person/office manager. Worked through the “imposter” syndrome for a long time, lonely entrepreneur life, trying to figure out marketing, ideal clients, pricing, etc. I have a thriving business teaching people how to use technology based on what they need for their work or life. Love hearing all points of view on how to make things work on your own, as well as MPU for my own skills as well as what I use for clients.


#6

Always was self-employed.
There is a difference in work attitude between business owners and employees. I could not make the transition…


#7

So, we were Free Agents years ago. Now we are “the man”. Our business is still small, but has grown to include the founder (my wife), myself and 7 other employees, soon to be 8 other employees. Being self employed we consider ourselves Free Agent types, but I have come to realize that we aren’t actually Free Agents, we are the company now. We try to foster a very independent spirit in the company through various means but none the less, our team works for us not as Free Agents.


#8

Used to be a Free Agent. Now happily working for the Man. But I still like to check in, because the business of being a Free Agent was absolutely part of what I liked about being on my own. I liked being my own IT support, tracking my invoices, investigating new ways of being more efficient that didn’t involve having to accommodate other peoples’ methods, making a good impression on all of the people I interacted with as part of my business, etc. I believe all of that made me a more valuable employee when I returned to working for someone else.

I was a talented but often combative employee before I went out on my own. Ten blissful years of working for myself changed me. I don’t know if it was the experience itself or just general maturity kicking in, but I’ve been working a regular job for the past three years – doing pretty much the same kind of work I was doing in my last job – and yet I’m very content and a much more productive, cooperative, and engaged member of the team than I ever had been.

My boss recently thanked me for being “such a good team player,” and I laughed to myself, picturing the incredulous looks on the faces of all of my previous supervisors if they had been there to hear that.


#9

Interesting, given how many people I hear, on this podcast and others, talking about how being a free agent has “ruined” them as a regular employee.


#10

They all probably left jobs where they had to work with jerks like me.


#11

I’m really new to the workforce in general. I graduated university this year and am currently working a full time job at a small business while trying to get a freelance web design/graphic design business off the ground. I completed my first project for a paid client earlier this month and I have the goal to eventually just do freelancing but I’m still a ways off from that.


#12

I’m totally self employed now but even when I was working my corporate job was at the largest employee owned company and we all had to manage our time as a free agent. In fact it was more like a huge collection of competing small and mid sized businesses that sold brains by the hour. Time sold and overhead were things that even the newest folks learned or they didn’t last. You never knew if you were going to have a job unless you went out to find the contract/customer who was willing to pay for your knowledge. I loved it.


#13

I am not a free agent in the truest sense. However, my primary job is consulting and it very much feels like free agency. I have some specific targets that I have to hit and if all of that is going well, I am pretty much left alone. So, I manage my time and my customers. I build my own identity as an expert that I really feel is mine and independent from the company. I have a side job that I treat like just another customer, and them I have some side projects that I am developing. I have to say that as long as I am able to remain fairly independent, I probably won’t strike it out on my own entirely becauae I mostly get the best of both worlds right now. If one of my side projects gets to the point that it supports me better than what I get now, then I would entertain it.


#14

I’m a free agent – but only partially. I handed in part of my notice to the ‘job’ in April and making a start (back) into the world of free-agency (freelance musician to be precise) has been good so far. It’s amazing to see what doors will open once you start pushing. At the same time I think I’m glad I’ve done it this way – looking down I think I can now safely consider the prospect of handing in the rest of my notice some time next year and go fully freelance – but it is a big deal nonetheless! If this is possible for you and you work in a creative profession like me, I think I’d recommend a staggered approach. It doesn’t always make it easy to give as much time as you’d like to your hustle, but it does enable ultimately a smooth transition. I think! Maybe I’ll report back in a year once I’m fully freelance in case it’s all gone wrong :crazy_face: