I recently completed writing a landing page and social media account descriptions for a startup client in the fashion space (launching in January 2018, so no portfolio addition yet!).
As my first true copywriting client, the familiar thrill of turning in a finished product was a welcome feeling navigating this open-ended world of working for oneself.
It made me think about the first time I was paid for work completed. At the ripe age of 13, I worked a few weekends on a farm in New Hampshire, picking vegetables and moving animals from stall to field. I even was able to ride around on tractors, which at that age was a pretty awesome perk.
I remember working my first Saturday, and the exhaustion that followed from physical labor, and plastered in a rainy film of dirt and manure. The farmer who owned the plot came up without a word and placed $25 in my hand—the sum total of my $4.00/hour rate, plus a $5 bonus.
I’d received allowance before, but it was more of a novelty coming from my financially-distressed family of eight. But, in my hand was more than $25 and the gratification of work paid for work done. It was an emboldening sense of manhood, independence, and, most importantly, a gateway to those $50 white-striped ADIDAS that were so popular at the time.
Though I would instead wait until my job at McDonald’s a couple years later to get those sneakers, this was my chance to truly buy something of my own for the first time. Nowadays. the novelty of earning your own way has worn off, but when I am paid for my own work as a freelancer, there is a little part of that sensation that lingers. Maybe, that will wear off too as I make this transition, but so far, it feels great.