There’s a lot of stats out there about freelancing. There’s stats about freelancer failure rates that raise concern. According to the IFS, 20% of sole traders don’t make it past their first year, 60% will fail to make it past 5 years, rising to 80% by 12 years. On the flipside, there’s stats about new freelancers quitting their day jobs and earning more money than they could ever possibly imagine over their previous full-time employed salaries. There’s stats aplenty covering every nook and cranny about the ‘plunge into the freelance life.’ Some of it exciting…many of it downright depressing.
We've know that "a job for life" has long been a thing of the past for the majority of students, however, attitudes towards traditional employment have become so acute, they've caught most universities off guard. Enter Gen Z, with a list of aspirations that includes flexibility, job satisfaction, diversity and control. A longing to work with companies that align with their values and share their beliefs. It's refreshing to see such endeavour but without the required training and support, are we setting students up for failure and disappointment?
Freelancing is sky-rocketing. More people and companies are hiring freelancers than ever before and there is a real opportunity for talented individuals to earn a living or generate extra income from their skills and passion. It’s not just the financial rewards either. Many are interested in freelancing for more control and flexibility in their lives. Some choose to run a business to improve their work-life balance and be their own boss. The benefits are endless and yet a large proportion of new freelancers struggle to earn enough to make it past the first year of business.
In our latest 'Next Gen' series, the insightful Zsofia Kunvari, a professional in the realm of Enterprise Education, Well-Being, and Organisational Behaviour, delves into the current mental health challenges faced by students who aspire to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey while juggling academics. From the pressure of launching a freelance business, side hustle or startup, to finding that perfect balance between work, life and study.
In a candid conversation, our Founder, Matt Dowling, sat down with the erudite Cerys Jayne Murray, a scholarly Master's student at the University of Nottingham, who simultaneously assumes the roles of a part-time barista and a freelance content creator. Together, they delved into the intricate realms of university support, or rather the lack thereof, that confronts ambitious freelancers like Cerys. They also discussed the delicate balance between work, life, and education that she valiantly strives to maintain, the challenge faced by students when asking to be paid for their services, and the profound psychological hurdles plaguing students, including imposter syndrome, inhibiting them from confidently valuing the worth of their skills.
Right, no messin’ about. No beatin’ around the bush. Let's get right into this. What is your freelance destination? What is your freelance endgame?
The sixth annual IAN conference, run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and hosted, took place this June at Sheffield Hallam University. This flagship annual event convened incubator managers from across the UK for best-practice sharing, networking and collaboration. The Founder of Freelancer Club, Matt Dowling, was invited to provide insights into the freelance journey and share some data on the challenges faced by students and universities. Among the distinguished presenters was James Ker-Reid, co-founder of Revenue Academy. Following the presentations, Matt and James struck up a conversation over a cup of coffee, wherein they discovered a shared vision for nurturing the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs as well as a sense of frustration regarding the challenges faced by founders and freelancers in their pursuit of success. Recognising the potential significance of their chat, they made a decision to convene, unpack these issues, and record their conversation in order to offer their insights to universities, students, and stakeholders alike.
In a recent statement from the Creators' Rights Alliance (CRA), a united voice for creators made up of organisations representing creators in the U.K, passionately explained that we need to be careful about the potential damage and risk this new era of AI could cause to our creative industries.