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.
Freelance photographer, Alexander Blair, was assaulted and robbed on London Underground? His kit and livelihood was taken and he is still battling with his insurance company. We hear from Alexander and, Partner at the legal firm Briffa, Eamon Chawke, about his ordeal and what rights freelancers can lean on during challenging times.
On the 1st of May, Freelancer Club is launching its first international location in New York City. We’re starting small, focusing on photographers, models and hair/makeup artists within the Brooklyn area, before gradually branching out to the rest of the city and beyond. We decided to start in Brooklyn thanks to its vibrant creative scene, full of exceptional creative individuals who are feeling disconnected and undervalued. Those we spoke to highlighted the need for a community platform such as the Freelancer Club to help them facilitate connections in a more meaningful way.
The pandemic forced many freelancers to adapt their core offering, offer online services and find ways to earn a living. The legacy of which is the rise of the multi-hyphen freelancer. We sit down with portrait photographer and specialist, Ivan Weiss, and model, dancer and creative director, Ella Judge, to discuss their pandemic learnings and the merits of a specialist versus a generalist freelance career.
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.
Whilst the numbers of female freelancers have been steadily rising since 2008, they still make up less than half of the UK’s freelance workforce. But it’s not enough to simply have more women in the workplace. Over 46% of women found that freelancing proved to be more of a challenge than they expected - with the figures showing a pattern of unique issues plaguing the female entrepreneurs attempting to advance their freelance careers. What are these issues and why are there still so many?