WANT more freedom at work? Think about going freelance.
Of the five million Brits who work for themselves, 41 per cent freelance. They typically work for multiple large firms rather than running a company of their own.
But the benefits are the same as for sole traders, including picking your clients, setting your own prices and having a greater say over your work/life balance.
To help those choosing this approach, National Freelancers Day is being held in London, full of talks and networking opportunities. See nationalfreelancersday.com.
Albert Azis-Clauson of freelancing hub underpinned.co says: “Freelancing used to be associated with a few niche industries but now almost all sectors offer freelance work.
“It won’t suit everyone but it can be a great way to break into an industry or can make more money once established.”
Get a head start
ALBERT’S advice for anyone new to freelancing:
- Don’t wait for work to come to you. Go and pitch to potential clients. A scattergun approach is fine at first. Over time you will hone who you want to work with.
- Join a social group of freelancers. The first couple of years are crucial for any freelancer, so build your network.
- Move the home office away from home. Find a workspace out of your house to keep work and home separate.
- Walk away from that client you hate working with. Veteran freelancers will tell you the value of turning down work. Clients should treat you with respect. If they won’t accept your terms, walk away.
- Sort your taxes early. Freelancers are thought to pay more than £1bilion incorrectly to HMRC, so give yourself time to get it right.
Freelancer Erica Yunwook Choi spent seven years working for a structural engineering firm before going freelance.
The 34-year-old graphic designer, from Bow in East London, now has a number of her own clients.
Erica says “I think of freelancing as being a harmless spy! You get to be inspired by various companies and practices, seeing how they manage their workflow. You also don’t need to dress up and can work at home in your pyjamas if you wish!
“It can be uncertain and you need to be good at multi-tasking. But having more flexibility over your hours is a huge plus.”
Keeping it in the family
TWO thirds of UK firms – 4.8million in total – are family owned, including chocolatiers Choc On Choc, set up by Kerr Dunlop, 75, and daughter Flo Broughton, 39, of Bath.
They began in 2003 and sell on notonthehighstreet.com. Here are Flo’s top tips on how to make a success of working with dad.
- Enjoy it: Do something you both love. Dad and I spent time in the kitchen together making chocolate gifts for friends and family. They were a huge hit and the idea for the business was born.
- Recognise each other’s talents: Everyone has different skills and strengths. Identify how these complement each other, then structure your roles. Dad is an inventor and innovator, so he is in charge of designing our intricate chocolate moulds.
- Be honest: It really is the best policy. Mutual respect is essential, so we’re always open with one another.
- Listen and learn: The more you understand the other’s strengths and weaknesses, and what makes them tick, the more effectively you will work together.
- Leave work at work: After hours, switch off. The rest of the family doesn’t want to hear our business plans over Sunday lunch.
THREE Mobile has put the call out for new staff, with more than 120 jobs available in local stores, plus additional roles in customer service, technology and HR.
Snap up a new role
CLICK with your new job. High street photo chain Jessops is recruiting a string of “Photosmiths” for stores around the UK.
They will run the retailer’s new state-of-the-art Photo Kiosks, helping shoppers get more creative with their snaps, including photo gift creation and teaching Smartphone Photo Courses.
Marketing director Michelle D’Vaz-Plant said: “Jessops is on a mission to get people to save and share their treasured snaps, safe-guarding them and ensuring that they can be appreciated and enjoyed as they deserve.
“Our Photosmiths will be important members of the team to offer invaluable advice, inspiration and education in-store.”
To apply, email your CV and a covering letter to photosmiths email@example.com.
MOVE up in your career. Removals firm Pickfords is taking on LGV drivers, customer service advisers and warehouse managers.
Buck to school
LATTE, flat white, espresso . . . or a degree to go? Starbucks is offering to pay for 100 staff to do an online degree.
Its Degree Achievement Plan lets workers choose from more than 40 topics run by Arizona State University in the US.
Globally, 18,000 employees have enrolled on the course, with 2,400 graduates to date.
To apply, you must have been with Starbucks for at least three months and not already hold a bachelor’s degree.
European boss Martin Brok said: “If we can remove the financial burden of a university degree while helping partners gain skills to set them up for future success, we can’t think of a better investment”.
Apply by June 30 at goto.asuonline.asu.edu/sdap.