Every month hundreds of people give up the security of their nine-to-five job to enter the uncertain world of freelancing. This is particularly true of the publishing industry. So what drives people to go freelance? What are the pros and cons, and what is it like on a day-to-day basis? And what advice would the seasoned freelancer give to the uninitiated?
The chief advantage is being your own boss, with the freedom to choose your working hours. Other advantages include a greater variety of work and potentially higher earnings, working from home and having greater control over the work done. Flexibility is a strong motivating factor for those juggling work and family responsibilities.
Of the disadvantages, social isolation is the major one, followed by the irregular work-flow of peaks and troughs and consequent irregular income, sometimes working unsociable hours to meet deadlines and working in a very competitive market. Other disadvantages include lack of employment benefits, such as paid holidays or sick pay, the problems of setting boundaries between work and home life, and rarely getting any feedback on your work.
- The perfect location
- Self-paced learning
- Professional support
- The end result
- Vocational training
- A new career
- Returning to work
- A start in publishing
Government information on financial assistance
For information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit www.direct.gov.uk/adultlearning or contact 0800 100 900.
Family Welfare Association (FWA)
The Family Welfare Association will consider applications from single parents, the disabled and others. Call 020 7254 6251 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 2pm - 4pm and ask for the Educational Grant Advisory Service or visit www.egas-online.org .
Enquire at your local library for contact details of educational trust funds and charities that provide funding.
BTBS The Book Trade Charity
BTBS offers funding to people who have worked in publishing or bookselling but are currently unemployed. Call freephone 0808 100 2304.