6 Disadvantages of Being Self-Employed: 1 Year Update as a Full-Time Influencer

What I miss about my old job..

by kaya@comfygirlwithcurls.com

On this blog I share a lot of tips for aspiring content creators who are hoping to monetize their online presence and maybe build up to leaving their nine to five too. But since taking content creation full-time in May 2022, I’ve realized that although there are many advantages to this life, there are also disadvantages to being self employed that aren’t often discussed.

So in honour of my 1 year anniversary as a full-time influencer, I shared over on YouTube some of the things I do actually miss about my old job–and I’m sharing them for you all here too!

I Kinda Miss my Old Job… 1 Year in as a Full-Time Influencer

If you prefer the audio-visual version of this post, check out below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe. 😊

*Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.*

6 Disadvantages of Being Self-Employed

First, I want to make it clear: I have zero regrets about pursuing content creating full-time.

Though the transition wasn’t easy–I definitely struggled–I did become quickly accustomed to the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for yourself, and I know it was the right choice for me.

That being said, there are still things that I miss about my old job–some things I took for granted before diving into the self-employed life and that could be seen as downsides to being an influencer.

Related Post: 9 Unexpected Challenges of Being an Influencer

1. Little In-Person Social Connection

As a full-time content creator who works completely from home, I miss being around people.

This wasn’t something I expected, as I am an introvert.

But since leaving my day job, I’ve realized as an adult, it’s difficult it to maintain relationships when you aren’t in close proximity day in and day out. 

One of the biggest disadvantages of being self-employed, working from home, alone, is that you can go DAYS without talking to anyone but your partner… and cats.

Two women having an in person social connection at work - Disadvantage to being self employed, and something I miss about my old job now as a full time influencer

I was at my last job for nearly six years, and there was a comfort in showing up every day to people you saw more than you saw your own family, and to a certain extent, knew you better than your own family. 

And I know not everybody lucks out with that kind of work environment, but I enjoyed coming to work and seeing my team. We had so many great conversations and they essentially became in part my extended family.

It’s something I undeniably miss about my old job.

I think it’s also really important to remember that isolation can take its toll, as we especially saw during COVID.

So as self-employed entrepreneurs, we need to be extra mindful of it and its effect on our mental health.

To combat this, I try to attend a lot of creator events and co-working sessions with my friends in this space, and I am grateful for the community I’ve begun to build as an influencer, both in person and online.

But it’s still not quite the same, and I don’t think it ever will be.

2. No Routine

Although being stuck to the same routine can feel like drudgery–waking up every day at the same time, to go to work at the same time, to take your lunch break at the same time, to leave at the same time…

There’s something to be said about being on autopilot and not having to think so hard about your schedule.

When I was trying to balance my full-time job with content creating, I was running on overdrive. But because I was confined to a routine, I had really specific segments of time for each task.

And this kept me accountable. I worked surprisingly well with constraints.

I had my day job during the day, and then when I got home I had a finite amount of time to be able to film, edit, work on blog posts, and submit brand content.

Since becoming a full-time influencer, I’ve tried to create some form of routine for myself but without an outside constraint forcing that routine, there’s not a massive incentive to stick a specific schedule.

And because of this, I can get easily overwhelmed with the abundance of choice for what I could be doing next. This sometimes makes me freeze and not do anything.

It’s like choice paralysis – yes, it’s a real thing, check out this article!

3. Inconsistent Pay

No surprise to anybody, inconsistent pay is one of the biggest disadvantages of being a self-employed influencer or content creator.

At my 9-5, I knew what my paycheques were going to be down to the penny and that they were going to arrive twice a month. It made it so easy to plan and budget days, weeks, months, years in advance. 

If I had a big expense one month, I knew how many paycheques down the line it would take to pay it off. 

Image of a paycheck and calendar - Downsides and Disadvantages of being self employed as a full time influencer: the inconsistent pay

There’s not that kind of predictability or consistency when being a full-time influencer.  

When I sign a contract with a brand, I have only a rough idea of when I will get that money.

Not only do the payment terms differ from brand to brand, with there being net 15, net 30, net 60, net 90s, but brands are notorious for not paying on time!

The saving grace to this is that I have landed a lot of long-term partnerships, which means I get the safety net of knowing I will work with a brand for the course of several months or even the year.

In these cases, I usually have to create and post several rounds of content, and they will pay me after each round. 

And while said payments can still be unreliable, it makes it a bit easier to navigate and plan your life!

4. No Benefits

Along the same line as missing the consistent pay…I miss using my benefits! 

This has been one of the most tangible disadvantages I’ve faced since going full time into content creating.

Though I will acknowledge that I’m grateful Darren and I are mostly healthy, and that we live in Canada so we don’t have too many medical expenses.

But my old job did cover 80% dental, and 90% for prescriptions, and the absolute: both covered for massage and physio up to a pretty good dollar amount.

I’m prone to migraines that usually are a result of tension in my shoulders. So going to massage therapists once a month was a life saver… and I haven’t been to the dentist since I took content full time… 🫣

One big piece of advice for anyone still working their 9-5: always max out your benefits!

We have found a temporary solve; seeking out student RMTs in my area. It’s definitely not the same as seeing a dedicated massage therapist or physio that knows your body, but alas!

Most universities also offer dental services at a discount for dentists and hygienists who are in school as well. So checkout any universities near you who do this!

Darren recently got his teeth cleaned by a student dentist and they did a really great job!

5. Zero Work-Life Balance 

There is that very cliche saying, “I quit my nine to five so I could work 24/7“. 

I had a decent amount of responsibility in my old job as a facilities coordinator at a research institute. I even had a work phone and was on call 24/7 to respond to with floods, potential chemical spills or leaks…

But the thing is, even though I was technically always on call, I still had work-life balance! 

I didn’t live, breathe, eat, sleep my job, which is quite the contrast to being self-employed. 

Image of a father struggling with work life balance - something I miss about my old job now I am a full time influencer.

But as a full-time influencer working wholly for herself… there is absolutely no delineation between my work life and my personal life. 

If I go on a vacation, it feels like a missed opportunity to create content and work.  If I want to take a nap, it feels like I am sleeping on my business. 

There’s no separation, so there is no balance

That being said, this comes naturally when you are creating a business of your own and building it from the ground up! Of course you are going to do anything in your power to become successful.

So although I am working way more than I did with my old job…

It is much more rewarding to be working long hours for something of my own!

6. No Boundaries

Piggybacking on the lack of work/life balance… While a lot of the extra work I do is self-imposed, I’ve found the brands I deal with often have no boundaries. The relationship is really lopsided.

Brands email you on weekends and expect a response immediately.

Brands will send you feedback on content you submitted to them at 6 pm on a Thursday and want it first thing Friday morning. 

But if you have any questions during the weekend, that’s their day off so they’re not going to answer you. 

Something I want to test out, but I’m a little nervous too is to, is setting clearer boundaries with brands.

Maybe saying “hey, these are my business hours, these are the times that you can reach me but I will not be available to do work evenings and weekends”. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have the confidence for that yet….

But definitely something I miss with my old job, is having set boundaries of when I was expected to “show up”. Even though I was on call, it wasn’t often I had to come to work after hours.

Final Thoughts on Disadvantages of being Self-Employed

Looking back on this past year of being a full-time influencer, I’m realizing that it was quite hard for me to navigate.

While it’s been a year of ups, it’s also been a year that was difficult to organize, schedule, and manage!

That being said, of course all jobs have positives and negatives. And for me, the advantages of being self employed, greatly outweigh the disadvantages and downsides of being an influencer.

I’ve had so many new opportunities, developed so many friendships, and gone on so many adventures!

But still, I think it’s important to acknowledge that there are a few things I do actually miss about my old job.

I hope this post has been helpful to those of you wanting to make that jump from your day job too.

Until next time!

x Kaya

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