JJ Jung is a content strategist with a background in digital marketing and social media management. She dipped her toes as a freelancer earlier in her career, but it wasn’t until COVID hit that she made the jump into self-employment. “It just seemed like a good time to explore doing that, and it seemed to work out really well,” she says.
JJ explains her main reason for leaving her full-time role was the flexibility that freelancing could offer. “I love being able to work on different projects. You know, just one moment I'm working on a chocolate project and then the next day I'm thinking about AI software. I like that there are loads of different challenges.”
Among those challenges, though, is the fickle nature of freelance life. Finding enough work, but at the same time not over-booking yourself, is a tightrope most freelance professionals will have to walk at some point.
“When I was younger and freelancing as a social media manager, I did burn out a lot and overload myself,” she says. “I think the pressure to accept any work that comes along is higher. Because you think ‘well, what if there's nothing that comes in next month? I should take on anything that comes through’.” Find us a freelancer that hasn’t taken on too much out of sheer panic (you won’t be able to).
“Any freelancer faces the challenge of unpredictability, so you’ll get busier periods you'll get periods where work slows down, but generally my experience with Passionfruit is that I have had fairly regular work with them, which has been really nice.” Thankfully, today JJ’s at the point where her time (and sanity) takes priority, partly thanks to Passionfruit.
“I think knowing that there's a potential that Passionfruit will bring [work] in makes it less anxiety-inducing, and I guess makes you slightly more empowered — for want of a better word — to say no to projects that interest you less.” There’s a very satisfying sense of security and self-assurance in being able to willingly turn down work when you’re freelance. But before getting to this point, JJ admits that it can be anxiety-inducing.
She says that anxiety is like a rite of passage for every freelancer — one that teaches you self-employment survival skills 101, like managing your workload and finances when you don’t know how much work will be coming in, month on month. Working with Passionfruit has made those freelancing ebbs and flows more tolerable, and she’s now at a point where she’s not afraid of setting clear boundaries with clients.
“Passionfruit has made things a lot easier in terms of work because it really helps sell you at the start of a project, they really back you from the beginning,” says JJ. “There is a greater level of trust going into your project with a client. I feel like when you're working freelance on your own, you're having to establish that trust in the first few weeks of a project in a way that's probably slightly more intense than when you've already got that backing from the get-go.”
“Since being with Passionfruit I've been more confident in being clear about my boundaries with work. Passionfruit is very good at outlining a very clear brief with the client, and so I will refer back to that and say ‘well, actually, that's outside the remit of my brief’, or have more confidence in being clear with the hours that I'm working and the type of work that I'm doing for the client.”
It’s an attitude she’s managed to implement in all her client relationships, including ones outside of Passionfruit.