Freelancing sometimes gets a bit of a kicking in the press and on social media. If you listen to the naysayers, it’s exploitative, unstable, unsocial, and insecure. Last month on Twitter, journalist Amelia Tate offered an alternative view, saying that she found freelancing “extremely enjoyable”, very “lucrative” and that it had had a positive impact on her mental health. Hundreds of freelancers joined in to say exactly what they loved about freelancing – here are just a few of the top reasons freelancers love their jobs.
“I see so much negativity about freelancing + I just want to weigh in for anyone considering it that I personally find it extremely enjoyable + v lucrative + have substantially better mental health than when staff. every experience is diff, but would hate for people to be put off!” – Amelia Tate, freelance journalist
Freelancing has “been ace for my mental health, confidence and career progression” enthused one freelance social media specialist. Others agreed that they had seen massive mental health benefits by escaping the rat race. “People in offices always just seem so stressed in comparison,” said one freelance journalist.
It seems that having a free and flexible approach to work isn’t a false promise of freelancing. “I have the freedom to choose who I work with, and for, how and when,” celebrated one freelancer.
A new freelancer told the story of how freelancing had allowed him to spend more time with his twin toddler sons and he no longer felt like a stranger to them. And freelancers also had ways to counter the narrative that flexibility = precarity. “I think the thing that concerns people is the idea that freelancing is insecure, but I got made redundant twice” offered one contributor to the discussion.
Paying the bills
One criticism frequently levelled at freelance gigs is that they pay poorly in comparison to other forms of employment, and that this, coupled with the need to chase after assignments can leave freelancers struggling to make ends meet. However, many of the respondents disagreed, or argued that it depends on your definition of “lucrative” as to how well-paid freelancing is. One freelancer was sure she earned “more than I would in a perm job”.
It’s the little things
Mostly though, freelancers just wanted to celebrate the small victories and pleasures that come with freelancing. One freelance writer relished being able to go to the gym at 11am, another said that they “really, really” liked being able to marinade something for dinner. In fact, simple domestic pleasures ranked highly on the list of things that freelance writers get really excited about: “putting a wash on and being able to hang it out right away is something that I will never not be happy about” said another. And if that doesn’t seal the deal, “being in when your parcels arrive” just might. We could all do with fewer of those annoying “while you were out” cards in our lives!
But it helps if…
Experienced freelancers were also keen to offer some tips to support those new to or considering freelancing. One social media expert advised that “you do need to have grit and a big sense of humour to make a success of it”. Another freelance journalist said he agreed with the positive sentiments, but added that “you need at least one definite regular gig; it requires more active effort to see people; and don’t forget about tax!”.
At Kingsbridge, we love freelancing (as well as celebrating our amazing freelance customers.) Let us know in the comments what you love about your freelance lifestyle. And if you need specialist insurance tailored freelancers just visit our website for a quick quote.