Pandemic Proof: Right Now is a Great Time to be a Freelancer
by Taylor Slattery | April 12, 2020
For freelancers, working remotely can be both a blessing and a curse. While having the freedom to work from anywhere at any time is incredibly liberating, a byproduct of this lifestyle is often large amounts of time spent alone. While the rest of the world is learning to cope with a remote existence, you, the freelancer, keep happily chugging along, albeit with a few adjustments like only eating crackers and learning to live without toilet paper.
Recent events have shown us just how quickly things can change. And by things I mean everything. Our jobs, how we eat, how we interact with others. Nothing is as it was a mere 3 weeks ago. In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 went from something we saw on TV to something felt in every major city across the US.
For many, life as they know it has come to a grinding halt, leaving people with one thing, time. And lots of it. To whom do they turn to fill this newly amplified void in their lives? Creatives, of course. They look to entertainment. To movies, to articles, to art. To anything that can give them a semblance of normality. While many industries have come to a grinding halt, others carry on. Fortunately for you, those industries just so happen to employ creatives.
Whether you’re a writer, illustrator, designer, it doesn’t matter. There is still work out there for you. These industries are undoubtedly feeling this crisis as well but they’re better prepared for it. And so are you. The precedent has already been set. Granted, your job may be more difficult to do for a while, but COVID-19 has yet to find a way onto the internet, so for the time being, you’re safe here.
Another great benefit of working as a freelancer is your ability to work with clients in different countries without leaving your house. Although things have gotten pretty bad in the US, causing many businesses to temporarily cease operation, this isn’t necessarily the case for the rest of the world. If your usual clients don’t have any work to offer you, now is a great time to look abroad and establish some new working relationships.
The life of a freelancer isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, though. One trap that many freelancers fall into is overworking. When you work from home, it can be hard to place limits on your working hours, and when your income is only limited by the amount of work you take on, it’s easy to sometimes convince yourself you can handle more than is healthy. While most professionals will experience this, and some actually claim to thrive in these conditions, a poor work-life balance can be bad for your health in the long run.
You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before you run out of wick. Pushing ourselves to our limits is how we learn who we are and see what we’re made of, but if you bite off more than you can chew, everything can come crashing down. Your reputation, relationships with clients, and your income all will suffer.
It’s important to stay positive right now. Without the burden of long-term unemployment looming over your head, maybe take this time for some much-needed relaxation. Enjoy time with your family if possible or revisit hobbies or other aspects of life that you’ve been neglecting. Maybe establish an exercise routine or learn some new recipes. Whatever it takes to recharge and restore some semblance of balance.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.