Books + the freelance life = an absolute dream. So when we were introduced to Out of Office by Fiona Thomas, we just had to give you a juicy review.
Working from home, managing side-hustles and making extra £££ isn’t just a hobby… It’s a lifestyle. We are totally committed to helping people live their best freelance life which is why we were so excited to read Fiona Thomas’ new book: Out of Office: Ditch the 9-5 and Be Your Own Boss. In fact, you might have noticed that Fiona’s book is featured in the Members Society this month as we’re talking all about Going Freelance.
Fiona Thomas is a freelance writer and author who has written for publications such as Happiful Magazine, Grazia and Stylist chatting about her mental health journey and life working from home. She has lots to share when it comes to becoming your own #WFH boss so we didn’t expect anything but fabulous things from this book.
Let’s dive into the deets…
One of the great things about this book is that it doesn’t sugarcoat the challenging aspects of freelancing. If you spend any time on social media, you’ll know there is a certain glossy image that comes with being a freelancer. The Instagrammable pics of leisurely morning workouts and home-brewed oat milk lattes are enough to make anyone want to quit their full-time gig. Unfortunately, the reality isn’t always as glamorous as that.
In Out of Office by Fiona Thomas, she sums up the “dream versus reality” complex perfectly. Get ready for some truth:
Freelance dream: “You can work from anywhere. A beach. A treehouse. A cabin on the lake.
Freelance reality: “You will mostly work from a desk, sofa or kitchen table. If you get sick and you’re on a deadline, you might even work from the toilet.”
You get the idea, right?
Fiona also tackles an interesting question: is freelancing predominantly a ‘girl’ thing? Considering GiM is a community of over 120,000 followers (the majority of us women), you’d expect the majority of freelancers to be women too. However, Payoneer.com claims that only 23% of freelancers globally are women, with 77% being men. When you’re surrounded by women who are working from home and running their own businesses, it’s easy to assume men are the minority. But in fact, we are still outnumbered by our male counterparts as female freelancers.
Ultimately though, no matter how you identify, the flexibility of freelancing suits everyone. It can increase productivity, give people the opportunity to unearth work-life balance and offer a sense of freedom outside full-time work.
Let’s be real… freelancing is an absolute game-changer for some people, but it also comes with a long list of unfriendly adult tasks. Registering as self-employed, sorting out your taxes, keeping track of your income and invoices can be a real struggle if you don’t know where to start. Luckily Fiona covers everything from getting your first client to submitting tax returns. At the end of each chapter, it comes with a helpful checklist to help kickstart your freelance journey.
If you follow Fiona on Instagram, you’ll know she is a huge advocate for mental health and openly shares her battle with depression on social media. In her book, she writes about why making the move to become a freelancer was so important to her, and the positive mental health benefits it has for her. “One of the main reasons I wanted to be self-employed was to give myself permission to take mental health days.”
Being able to rest, recuperate and recharge after a particularly difficult bout of bad mental health is essential. And as a freelancer, it’s ten times easier to take that time off and allow yourself to work happily in a stress-free environment.
All in all, Out of Office by Fiona Thomas is a completely comprehensive guide to becoming self-employed. It kicks off with an awesome glossary of important terms before diving head-first into everything you need to know about freelance life. If you’re looking for an honest, no-nonsense account of what being your own boss really means, this book is for you. Combine it with our Freelance Marketing eCourse and we think you will be well on your way to self-employed success.