Let me count the ways
There are as many reasons to be freelance as there are freelancers and as many ways to be one. For instance, some people work solely from home on their own; others mix it up, sometimes working from home, sometimes working in their clients’ premises, and some, like Jenny Jones, go into schools, colleges and universities.
“I teach, usually in universities,” says Jenny. “ I teach anything around the subjects of maths and business, usually to arts students. This often means teaching to students who have found mathematics difficult at school. I have been teaching for about five years.
“I got started when I was approached by a friend who taught in a university and at the time they were short of maths teachers. I started teaching maths, found I enjoyed it, and from there expanded into business dtudies.
“The worst thing, particularly in education these days, is the lack of job security. I cannot be sure that I will have work in the future. In the recent economic downturn, many universities let their freelancers go, prioritising their permanent staff. As a result, I have had much less work and most of that has been last minute, covering sick leave. This undermines the flexibility that I’ve enjoyed in the past – I now have to take what I can get if I want to keep my skills going until an economic recovery occurs – if one ever does in my employable lifetime.
“However, being freelance can give so much flexibility. I can sometimes negotiate the hours and days I work, and each piece of work is discreet from others. This means that I can work it around my family life.”