Freelancing In Uncertain Times

Well my last blog hasn’t aged well, with the UK now all confined to our houses aside from essential shopping and a short daily exercise. So much has happened so fast. I hope you’re all safe and healthy.

Same Same..

In some ways, nothing has changed for my freelancing. Working from home 99% of the time means I’m set up for it and used to spending time home alone. As a web designer, my work is online so I’ve not been forced to close like many face to face businesses. I’m very grateful for these things right now.

It seems to be easier to get food and supplies now after the initial stockpiling panic and while I don’t stand a chance of getting a supermarket delivery, it’s been great to support some local businesses who deliver groceries:

.. but Different

I’ve noticed a dip in enquiries for new projects since Xmas, probably due to Brexit uncertainty. I’ve got a couple of projects on the go but like many other freelancers I was worried about running out of work and then running out of money.

The UK government have come through with 3 months of income support for sole traders based on our previous 3 years of profits, so this is a huge relief if it does go quiet. This possibly doesn’t help some other freelancers I’ve been speaking to, if they are only part time freelance and have lost their main job, or are registered as a Limited Company. Some who do face to face work have lost their entire income within a week.

I was trying to get out and co-work more often but that’s been stopped in its tracks. I wonder whether many co-working spaces will make it through this time.

Adapt and Survive

While there are obviously worries around future client work and finances, this is a good time to work on ourselves and learn some new skills. PluralSight are offering their courses for free for April so I’m learning some new coding skills to improve my potential work streams.

With many ‘bricks and mortar’ companies pivoting to selling online there are also opportunities around that for freelance designers, developers, marketers and other related skills.

Organisations are also stepping up to offer help and support during the pandemic with online chat, support groups and resources. Leapers, who we featured a few months back, have some great content to support freelancers and I’ve also joined the Slack to chat with local tech people.

Who knows how long this is going to last, but hopefully we can stay positive and well and come out of the other side soon.