Freelancing: A way of life!

AUTHOR:  
Published:  February 10, 2010
Freelancing: A way of life!

As permanent hiring dipped dramatically throughout 2009 and redundancies were – for a time — rife throughout parts of our industry, many creatives were for the first time faced with a tough decision: hold out for another full-time position, or try a stint at freelancing?

Given the challenging market positions, many opted for the latter, and to great success. The reality is that some companies cut staff too dramatically throughout the year, and a corresponding rise in the demand for freelance staff was the result as these companies then struggled to keep up with workloads.

Consequently, many took advantage of the opportunity to try their hands working with different people, in different environments and exposing themselves to a plethora of new ideas and processes, if only for a short time.
Indeed, there are numerous benefits attached to a freelance ‘way of life’, but it’s definitely not for everybody.

Obviously, a stable routine and steady income is something freelancing cannot guarantee, particularly during a time of such erratic market conditions. What freelancing does offer, however, is broader exposure to many different working styles, projects and, perhaps most importantly, people, in addition to offering a more flexible work-life balance.

Whether freelancing independently and marketing oneself out to companies as a ‘gun for hire’, or aligning with specialist creative talent agencies like Aquent, freelancing far and wide not only gets one’s name out there and builds on one’s contacts throughout the industry, but inevitably leads to one’s skill set being further broadened.

Particularly for younger creatives, the opportunity to freelance in a variety of working environments not only provides much needed exposure to an industry many don’t fully understand straight after leaving university, but can sometimes lead to a permanent job offer.

Freelancing also breeds versatility. The ability to seamlessly integrate within a workplace – be it an agency, studio or even corporate in-house environment – is a skill well worth learning even if a permanent position is the ultimate aim. It all adds to one’s professional and personal development.

As 2010 dawns the number of opportunities for those wanting to go out on their own as professional freelancers will steadily increase. The permanent hiring market will thaw and, as hiring managers again consider adding to their permanent head counts, careful consideration will be given to those freelancers who may have completed successful stints in that company and made a great technical and cultural fit.

What do you think? Have you freelanced and, if so, what does it offer you that a permanent position cannot?

About Tim McNamara: As a fellow creative with a background in journalism and copywriting, Tim has been with Aquent Brisbane for two years. Specialising in print creative and digital new media freelance placements, Tim is a regular contributor to the Aquent Blog and writes regular columns for Desktop and Marketing Magazine. He can be contacted via www.aquent.com.au/go/TimMcNamara

Image Copyright Giuseppe Parisi

2 Responses

  1. Great article Tim, thank you :)

  2. Yeah there is definitely an increase in freelance as an option. I’m just getting back into it after a 2 year full time gig to create flexibility for study.

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