In this mini episode, I have a little rant…about why freelancing isn’t taken seriously as a career option. What do you think? Were you offered it as a career option?
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Hi, everybody I am back with, I suppose it’s kind of a rant. It is all about why isn’t freelancing promoted more as a career option to young people. Now, this is very much front of my mind at the moment. I’ve just launched the Graduate Freelancer course, I’ve been doing talks with universities about freelancing and it is a big passion of mine. Because I was never taught about freelancing as a student, either at school or university. And it was just never something that was offered as an option to me, I had no idea what it was and I had hoped things have changed a little bit and I do think universities are teaching about entrepreneurship. But I still don’t feel like freelancing is being promoted as a career option. And I think it’s such a shame, because there were so many benefits to it and especially now, when you know we’ve just gone past the whole, I mean, it still feels like we’re working through it but the whole COVID lockdown thing is, although we are out of it, the impact is still being felt. And we are in a strange situation where last year, I think a lot of businesses were like, yeah, working from home, working remotely is working really well. And this year, that seems to have changed again and a lot of companies go no, no, you need to come back in. Not all companies, a lot are now embracing four day work weeks and they are still embracing Flexi working or remote working still. But there are some companies, especially sort of the more traditional ones that are now trying to get everyone back in. Which is why I think more than ever, freelancing needs to be promoted as a career option. Because people got a taste for remote working and not being in the office, and also having more control over their work life balance, people’s mental health improved. Not everybody’s, it isn’t for everybody. I’d never say freelancing is for anyone, but working from home isn’t for everyone. But I think there were so many benefits discovered during that time and if some of the bigger companies are taking away those benefits again, then more than ever, freelancing needs to be promoted as a career option. So it’s something I am very, very passionate about. And I also think freelancing is something that there’s a lot of confusion around it, even the term freelancing. There are a good chunk of people that don’t like using the word freelance because they feel like it downplays what it is, or it’s not seen as valuable as say, terms like consultant or contractor, or self-employed, or entrepreneur, all these kind of terms. Some people consider freelancing to be a kind of a hobby career, which is definitely not the case from a lot of people I’m saying, I’ve heard, I think I might have mentioned this in a previous episode actually about, I was listening to the parenting help podcast with Rob Beckett and Josh Widdecombe and they refer to themselves as freelancers on that. And I shared something on Instagram stories recently about how you know Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, they were having an interview and they are technically freelance because they’re working for different film companies and TV companies and things like that on different projects, so they are technically freelance. So I just think there’s a lot more education to be done and that’s where I’m looking to do it, in the kind of young graduates and school leavers as well. I want to go into that as well, because there’s all this stress around A levels and GCSEs and what if you don’t get them? And what if you can’t go on and do the career you want? And I think the beauty of freelancing is nobody cares about your CV. Like, you have a portfolio, you have something that showcases the work you’ve done. You’ve got testimonials, recommendations, but I mean, I think I’ve been asked once in the last 15 years for a CV as a freelancer. Generally, it goes off reputation and what you’ve produced and the clients you’ve worked with, and your social media presence and things like that. Those are the important things and therefore I think freelancing is a great option. If you are a student who is thinking, well, I haven’t gotten the grades I wanted to do so I can’t do that thing. Now this is obviously not the case for everything. If you want to be a doctor, you can’t just be a freelance doctor, you’ve got to go do the degree but for a lot of industries, you can create your own career as a freelancer and not be restricted by what’s on a piece of paper from an education board. As someone who, well, I was I had undiagnosed ADHD at that point, my predicted grades at school and university were higher than what I came out with because exams generally tend to be based on how good your memory is, or your memory in under stressful situations. And while I understood all the content, and I could write about it really well on the coursework, exams I couldn’t. And I feel like freelancing is potentially a good opportunity for people like that, who are intelligent and have something to offer but they’re not exam perfect. I could go on and on about this for a while, which is why I said it was a rant, it hasn’t even been something I’ve planned out here. But I just wanted to share and it’s something I am doing more talks at universities and colleges about, and obviously, doing my course, I really want to educate people. So if you do know of anybody that is looking for someone to talk about freelancing as a career option, I would love a recommendation. But I would also just love for you to share some of the benefits of freelancing for people around you, and especially the young people. The young people, how old person is that? That’s a very old person thing to say, isn’t it? Yeah, I would love for you to encourage that. Like I said earlier, it’s not for everybody. But I want people to know it’s an option, and that it could be the right option for them. So rant over, that is me until next week. Have a wonderful week everyone.