It’s great that many prominent freelancers are sharing their #FreelancePies – we certainly need to open up the conversation about money. In this post I’m not going to disclose my total income, but I’ll show you what freelancing was like for me since I left my last stable job. I’m doing this to contribute to helping people who aspire for a career in writing to plan realistically. Also, I’m going to show this post to friends and anyone who holds some romanticised impression of freelance journalism. Obviously, my experience doesn’t represent an average freelance journalist in any country. It’s just, well, a slice of the industry.
Decisions about working for free are rarely straightforward. In an ideal world, survival would be guaranteed for people, so they could freely choose to volunteer their skills when they find it meaningful rather than desperately hope that this would lead them to paid positions in a distant future. Unfortunately, we are very far from this perfect world, and many of us have at some point worked or hired people to work for free. I am certainly guilty of both, and some of these transactions in social capital, to use Pierre Bourdieu’s terms, were more successful or meaningful than others. Based on this experience, how does one navigate the world full of offers to work for free with very uncertain returns?
My last project at Public Policy and Management Institute was an evaluation of the impact of EU structural funds on gender equality and non-discrimination. In addition to data collection and presentation, I organized a conference with various stakeholders and contributed to another, quite an unusual output of the evaluation – a promotional video. This was the first time our team had such a task (of course, the technical part of it was outsourced, but we wrote the script and selected the projects). It was a great opportunity to learn how to present evaluation results using visual means. Our client, the Ministry of Finance, has uploaded the video on Youtube. Continue reading