Before I begin, let me tell you that I do not intend to intimidate or cause panic, nor do I use the word “entrepreneur” in a literal way. That is to say that us freelancers need to be tech geniuses who can pinpoint a hole in the market, launch a startup, develop an app, attract tonnes of users, then secure some lucrative Series A Funding and very soon see our names in a Forbes Rich List. No, I don’t mean entrepreneurialism like this. I’m quite content still being a copywriter for hire.
Over the past few weeks, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has increased dramatically. For freelancers, the necessary self-isolation that comes with a positive test means up to a week of no income and potentially losing their clients, even without any symptoms. So what can you do to stay productive during your enforced alone time?
It’s a strange one. If I felt like doing “the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done”—which is always a tactical and shamelessly self promoting anecdote to embellish your dating app profile (we won’t get into this now)—and leaving London to go take a punt in the Big Apple with your freelance skillz that pay the billz, it would be just that…a punt. A swing of the bat. A shot in the dark. A drop in the ocean. I cannot actually weigh up the pros and cons.
As COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, freelancers who provide face-to-face services are being left in the lurch once more. Even with minor to no symptoms, the precautionary self-isolation that comes with a positive test renders freelancers unable to work on sets, in offices, at events or shoots of any kind. Make no mistake, there is more than just the direct one-off financial loss on the line. Our client relationships, social lives and mental health are also at risk. Once again, freelancers are being forced to choose between their health and financial stability.
I must say it feels a little cruel to be writing this piece straight after my last one. There I was, trying to get our Freelancer Club family all pumped up with ways of finding your rhythm when getting back to work, or should I say, figuring out how to let the rhythm find you. I really can’t explain that feeling of empowerment, self-worth, and purpose that pulsates through you when you have that lightbulb moment as a freelancer. You feel indomitable.
In 1987, Gloria M. Estefan told the world that “at night, when you turn off all the lights, there’s no place that you can hide, the rhythm is gonna get’cha.” “In bed, throw the covers on your head, you pretend like you are dead, but I know it, the rhythm is gonna get’cha.” I won’t lie, these lyrics hit home with me—particularly coming out of the pandemic as a freelancer. So much of my life and routine have been ‘flipped-turned upside down’ (thank you Fresh Prince), and I lie wide awake at night trying to figure out how on earth I’m going to get “back into the swing of things” again, “find my feet,” and “get my groove back.” Hey, would you look at that—those are all dancing idioms too. Maybe Estefan has a point. Maybe all we need is the rhythm to find us freelancers too.
We’ve had a lot of fun in these past few articles, haven’t we? - Click here for Article 1 - Click here for Article 2 We got to play make-believe and conjure up some outrageous scenarios such as clients paying a freelancer upfront the same way we all do for onions, bottles of stain remover, and our hairdressers—yeah yeah, I know…technically we pay them after the haircut, not upfront, but the same rule applies. C’mon! Cut me some slack, we’re on the same team here.
When we’re nine-to-five employees, it's not often, dare I say ever at all, where we get to choose who we want to work with. Our bosses pair us up in teams or throw us into group projects with others all under the same roof and give us an aneurysm by tasking us with delivering a piece of work together.