I’m an introvert. But when I tell people that, they are often shocked.
Even my Mom, childhood best friend, and husband find it funny that I identify as an introvert. Apparently I talk a lot, or something!
But being an introvert doesn’t mean I’m shy, or socially nervous (I’m neither). It means I recharge by being alone, and I prefer low-key, mellow social activities rather than loud, high sensory stuff. I also process my thoughts through writing, while extraverts tend to think out loud.
Since I’ve quit my job in July, I’ve been working down my 3-month notice period. At first I thought these 3-months would be a drag, but it’s giving me time to recuperate from the shock of having quit so suddenly, plus a chance to get my upcoming freelancing business off the ground.
I didn’t think I would be cut out for freelancing, but surprisingly, I’m finding that freelancing suits my introverted personality type afterall!
While I’m not a freelancer yet, I’ve been networking with freelancers and actively laying the foundation for my ‘break’ into the freelancing world. Things are going well, and I’m feeling very positive about everything.
It helps that I have strong connections in a niche industry, and the people around me tend to be really, really nice [and helpful]. But this doesn’t guarantee that I will be able to land jobs. Maybe at the beginning, but time will tell whether I can sustain myself through freelancing or not.
What I’ve learned is that there is a whole network of freelancers who are introverts like me! And networking with them is just as important (if not more important) than networking with big companies. Freelancers in this circle pass jobs to each other regularly, and one in particular will become my 2nd big client that will make up at least 20% of my yearly income. In Germany, I’ll need at least 2 clients to comply with tax and labour laws as a freelancer.
The type of freelancing I’ll do is scientific consulting (to be broad), so the people who choose to freelance in this field tend to be more reserved science nerd types rather than slick-talking business types (who are also science nerds). From what I can see, the latter are more likely to stay in a big company to move up the ladder (because they are good at it), or would break off to start an agency (bigger than freelancing).
So basically, I feel like I’ve found ‘my people’. Hardworking types, but not focused on gaining power or recognition. We just want to do good work. The work we do, whether it’s as employees within a company or through freelancing, will be absorbed as someone else’s work. This doesn’t bother me, because I don’t need the recognition. I just want to get paid!
I still have a lot of paperwork to sort through, and to find a Steuerberater (Accountant). It’s a little overwhelming, but very soon I’ll work my last day at the office and will have more time to fumble in wrong/broken/English sounding German at the Finanzamt! FUN!