What's your problem?

WOULD A FREELANCE LIFE SUIT ME BETTER? I've worked in an accountancy firm for two years. The first 18 months were great, as the company makes a point of putting new employees into a different department every six months, to learn the business. But now that I'm settled in one department, I'm bored.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

 I've asked my boss if I can move regularly, but was told it's not an option. I've since learnt that this is the norm in the industry. Would I be better suited to working freelance, where I can dictate my own terms?

You seem to have an unusually low boredom threshold. You've been in your present department for less than six months and already you've got itchy feet. How, I wonder, does the prospect of another 30 years of institutionalised accountancy strike you?

Please don't expect your company to accommodate your gypsy leanings.

It's not that they're stubbornly stuck in their ways (though there may be a bit of that); it's the fact that corporate clients understandably expect continuity, particularly on highly complicated and sensitive subjects such as auditing.

So, yes: you should think about going freelance quite seriously; but make sure you think it through with all its implications.

You believe you'll be able to dictate your own terms. Maybe, but remember, as a freelance, and with no great personal reputation to peddle, you'll be your own new business drummer-up. And, initially at least, you may find you can't be too picky about what you take on. You could even find yourself dependent on a single client for as long as a year, without even the diversity of the office to enliven your life. But I sense you're a restless creature, not particularly risk-averse, and anxious to add a bit of colour and variety to a profession not at the top of anyone's list for glamour and adventure. So give it a go; you're probably resilient enough to ride a few early setbacks.

Finally, a warning and a tip. You may be a little put out to discover how difficult it suddenly becomes to reach people on the telephone That's because you no longer have a company behind you to reassure switchboards and PAs. So consider branding yourself as offering specialist help to a particular profession: doctors, say, or writers or actors. This would allow you to build a clearly defined reputation while providing a variety of work.

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