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What is freelancing?

freelanceFrom writers to web designers, TV presenters to radio producers, many people in the media industry are ‘freelancers’. But what does this mean and will it work for you? Read on to find out more. 

What is freelancing?

A freelancer is someone who doesn’t work for one company full-time, but is hired by different companies for certain jobs. For example, a magazine or website will have a core team of editors who hire freelance writers to write articles, or a TV production crew might hire freelance cameramen to work on one series of programmes.

What are the advantages of freelancing?

    • Choose your work. Being a freelancer means you don’t have a boss telling you what to do so you can say ‘no’ to jobs you don’t want. You might also get to work at home for specific projects. As long as your work is delivered to the deadline most clients won’t mind how and when you do it – making freelancing a good option for people who don’t want to work normal office hours.
  • Better pay. Freelancers can negotiate your own rates with the companies who hire you. Companies are often prepared to pay freelancers a better rate than their own staff because they don’t have to pay for things like sick leave as part of the contract. The more experience you have then the more money you can ask for.

What are the disadvantages of freelancing?

  • Getting work. There are a lot of freelancers out there and getting your first few jobs can be hard. Just being good at what you do isn’t enough – you need to network, market yourself and make contacts because no-one will hire you if they don’t know you’re there! The workload can be unpredictable – sometimes you might be working all night to meet three deadlines in one week, while even the most successful freelancers have months where they get no work at all.
  • Managing your money. Not only will you not receive a regular paycheque per month, you’ll also have to make all the tax and National Insurance arrangements employers would normally do for you. You need to register yourself as ‘self-employed’ with Inland Revenue, who can give you some advice. You’ll also need to remember to keep some money aside for times when you’re ill or there’s no work – and while it might be great to have a holiday any time you want, remember that no-one will pay you for it!

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