A few weeks ago, I was asked to comment on the growing trend towards freelancing by a reporter from the Canadian Press. I was happy to provide my thoughts, after all, I had nothing to hide and I love what I do.
The article went live on Wednesday Canadian time and I was more than a little annoyed with the slant the article took.
You can read the full article here, titled “Growing Trend Toward Freelance Work Well For Some, But It Comes With Pitfalls”
I provided the following comment on the article, which has yet to be 'published':
As one of the people interviewed for this article, and a successful freelancer, I think people are missing the point, particularly when talking about benefits and belonging - one of the problems with society today is that we are told to get a good education which will lead to a great job and we'll be set financially. Um, in case you haven't noticed, that is no longer the case. As this article says, unemployment is on the rise - so why would you put all your eggs in one basket and work for just one person? I'm not saying you shouldn't get a good education, that's a good idea, but to believe that working for a company as an employee provides security and a "sense of belonging" sounds more than a little crazy to me.
There are so many people out there who are being laid off, where is their sense of belonging and security meant to come from now? I do what I do because I CHOOSE to do this. And I certainly don't live contract to contract. I've set this up as a real business, and just like any business, you learn to manage finances - I would far rather determine where my money comes from each month than rely on an employer, who at any point, could decide that my services are no longer needed and find myself trying to figure out how I'm going to pay the rent and put food on the table.
In terms of feeling a sense of community and a sense of belonging - I feel that more now than when I did working for an employer, with all the office politics and office gossip, how does that build community? And why would you want to belong to a company that doesn't always have your best interests at heart? The freelancing community is supportive and what I belong to stands for far more than what I got working for an employer, to me, it stands for freedom.
Now, I know there are people who love what they do and are passionate about the company they work for and that's awesome. What I feel is that it's about choice, you should be able to choose whether you work for someone else or work for yourself, without having to worry about what others think.
What I feel should be the point here is that those of us who are freelancing have chosen to do something for ourselves. We diversify and learn and grow our businesses, so we are not reliant on one source of income. Having been freelancing full-time for over two years now, I can say, with my hand on my heart, that I would NEVER consider going back to being an employee, ever.
Read the article and let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below - good or bad!