Is This A Booming Time For Freelancers… Or Not?

Posted: January 27th, 2009

It’s nothing new that news of the economy, wherever you are at, just gets worse as the year progresses. What I find interesting, though, is that I hear mixed news as far as the sutuation of freelancers in this crappy economy. If you get a hold of a report from a major player like CNN it’s easy to convince yourself that, hey, I won’t be affected.

On the flip side, I see a lot of news and advice from sites such as Freelance Switch and Freelance Folder that have tips on surviving the economic trouble. These all seem to conflict each other. I mean is this a time where freelancers should be celebrating or maybe worrying a little that they could become a casualty if they don’t act now?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. Prepare yourself but be optimistic. Does that mean we worry about the economy, too? Sure, but let’s not panic just yet.

As a freelancer, myself included, you should expect steady work from clients to slow down and possibly even stop. Even if things look peachy at the moment, everything can change in the blink of an eye. Preparations should follow suit. That means updating the resume, hitting the job boards, calling up old clients, and being prepared to find more work on a dime if need be. This doesn’t mean it’s time to scream Holy Shit! to yourself. First of all, yes, this is becoming a freelancer economy and, second, there will always be jobs available no matter how bad things get.

The bad economy is also a good time to take advantage of the slowdown, if you can afford to do so. You have to remember recessions are cyclical and a “boom” usually follows. So now is a great time to take up that project you had in mind or write that ebook you’ve always put off doing. Even a personal friend of mine is using all of this year to start up his urban clothing business in time for the expected rise in the economy next year. This is despite a looming threat of being layed off himself.

Now is a good time to be optimistic even though the good economic times seem far away.

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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