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Freelancing in a recession – benefits and opportunities

With a recession looming, it might be a worrying time for freelancers. Here are some benefits to being a freelancer and some opportunities that might arise in a recession.

freelancing-in-recession

With a recession looming, it might be a worrying time for freelancers. Here are some benefits to being a freelancer and some opportunities that might arise in a recession.

Benefits

9-5 jobs used to be a lot more secure than they are now. Whether it’s suddenly becoming unprofitable, internal politics or the constant takeovers, ‘on the books’ jobs are no longer secure. At a 9-5 you might find yourself out of a job or fired with little warning, leaving you to quickly find a new job and wait a month or more to get paid. You have the freedom and control to make changes and take care of your business, not relying on bosses and owners with their own agendas.

As a freelancer, you can do things today to get more clients, carry out short term contracts or even get a part time job to earn more money. With no need to wait weeks or months for one company to decide whether to hire you or not, you can be earning very quickly.

Your income can also be more stable and secure if you’re working for more than one client. Unless you’ve got a ‘gorilla client’ that you do most of your freelance work for, you are protected by not having all your eggs in one basket.

Opportunities

I went full time with freelance web design in the 2009 recession. Working at a design agency that had been taken over by a bigger agency and facing the yearly redundancy festival, I took the plunge and quit. What I soon realised was that many other people were doing the same thing and starting small businesses. As a web designer who hates corporate work and caters to small business, this was perfect!

With some companies laying off staff and looking to cut costs, using freelancers can make more sense. By going through an agency, building up a decent network of contacts or cold calling if you’re brave enough, you could be picking up this freelance work. This isn’t by being cheaper than the next freelancer – it just often costs less to have a piece of work done freelance than paying employees a salary, pension, NI and providing a desk/computer.

Summary

Hopefully this article reassures you that freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be a time to be anxious, with benefits and opportunities available to us that larger companies don’t get.