Many think that freelancing is a difficult concept to explain to our grandparents. But, did you know that it has been around for more than a century?
It can be difficult to explain to your grandparents why you chose freelancing and not a traditional nine-to-five office job. Here is how you can explain to your grandparents what freelancing is.
Grandparents, freelancing is…
The first step is to explain what freelancing exactly is, is painting a clear picture. Freelancers are independent contractors, which means they do not work for a firm. Though this does not stop them from taking on contracts offered by firms to complete a project. The contracts can either be for short-term (less than a year) or long-term (more than a year).
Freelancers are not paid a weekly or monthly salary, they are paid by the client once a task, or project has been completed. Some freelancers opt for charging their clients by the hour.
Usually freelancers are seen as creatives. This means that they create artwork, websites, or even articles and blogs. Most freelancers work in the realm of programming, marketing, engineering, or copywriting.
Grandparents wants to know the good
Okay, so our grandparents care about us, and they want to make sure we are making the right choice. So now that they have an understanding of what freelancing is, you can tell her a bit more!
Make sure she knows just how much we enjoy what we do. Lucky for us there are several pros that come with freelancing.
Flexibility in all aspects of work
One of the advantages of being a freelancer is having control over the hours we work, where we work, and who we work for. As freelancers, we don’t work as an employee, but as an independent contractor, we are able to work remotely and choose where we want to work. Meaning if we want to work in a cafe or at a library we have the freedom to do so.
For the flexibility in time, this is one of the major advantages to being a freelancer. We are able to take time out of our day to spend time with family, or go to a restaurant for lunch during what would be working hours, as long as the work gets completed on time. Letting your grandparents know that you are going outside and able to live a balanced life would make her ecstatic.
Self management is at your fingertips
Freelancers are their own bosses, for many this is the dream.
Being able to manage your own schedule, your own rates, and which companies you work for. It sounds like a dream but there’s a lot of responsibilities in being your own boss. If there is an issue with a company you are working with you have to take the initiative in addressing it with the client. That being said, there is no additional anxiety with office politics, which is an advantage.
An additional point to be made here is that being your own boss means you are able to learn more skills, or improve on the ones you already have. When looking for different companies to work with there are some that will require a specific set of skills. As your own boss you have the choice to determine whether you want to take a course to acquire this new skill, or to simply improve on the ones you already possess.
Grandparents want to know the challenges
You told your grandparents the good aspects about being a freelancer but she wants to know if there is anything that might cause you a bit of stress. As with most career options out there, there are aspects which are great and others that prove to be a bit of a challenge.
Being your own boss
One of the challenges is also one of the benefits. As mentioned, being your own boss comes with a lot of responsibility and self management. Being your own boss means having to hold yourself accountable for your time to make sure everything is completed by the deadlines. Part of the challenge of being your own boss is staying motivated. Motivation is not consistent all year round, but there are ways to ensure we maintain a drive throughout the year.
Additionally being your own boss means that you also need to be your own advertiser and you need to step up when clients don’t pay. Freelancing requires you to be able to market yourself in order to attract new clients to maintain a consistent workflow. However, there are also times when those very clients are slow in paying you. There will be experiences when clients have a limited cash flow and do not pay on the agreed date, as a freelancer you will need to be insistent towards these clients.
The treatment of freelancers
Another challenge is that in Europe, despite workers rights being part of the EU’s socio-political model, freelancers do not have the same rights as other workers in Europe. Freelancers bring professional services into European companies, from the creative sector to legal and financial sectors, yet how they are treated differs from country-to-country.
This differentiation in rights requires freelancers to be aware of the different laws in countries they want to work, as some countries do not have any laws in place to protect freelancers.
Any grandparents would be worried about their grandchildren if they ever heard about the mistreatment they face in their professions. Fortunately, there is a community and network of people who are fighting to bring more awareness to this mistreatment and make a change in the freelancing industry.
Join the freelance ecosystem
The European Freelancers Week is dedicated to helping freelancers come together and use their voice to stand up for what they believe in.
This year we are celebrating our seventh annual week-long celebration of freelance hosted events. It kicks off on 14 October until 21 October 2022. Take part in #EFWeek2022 by registering an event or simply attending the events.