Apologies for the clickbaity title. I actually don’t have any firm strategies for Brexitproofing other than the endless round of checking news outlets and social media every ten minutes or when the phone emits a buzz, frowning/shouting at the screen/cackling sadistically, taking a break to sob into my coffee, then remembering I still have work to do.
But yesterday I wrote on Twitter ‘what can we do as freelancers but what we always do – spread the risk and be adaptable’. This is what I am trying to cling on to, in these very, very uncertain times.
- Freelancers do have an important attribute in such times – we are flexible. One thing I found in the last recession, ongoing when I launched my business, was that this did help in terms of finding work. Even when we negotiate good terms, freelancers represent comparatively economical labour for clients.
- My way of attempting to spread risk is to cultivate good relationships with a range of clients, and not become too dependent on any particular one. This is a good strategy all the time, not just in times of possible crisis.
- Now is perhaps a good time to seek out new avenues of work. On the positive side, it strikes me that even while things burn, one thing we are not short of right now, and for the foreseeable future, is an abundance of words being generated as a result of the whole sorry debacle.
- However, whether anyone will have the means to pay for these words to be edited with anything more than a handful of Baked Beans is yet to be determined.
I should add at the end here that, like everyone else I know, I am terribly worried about what happens next. Who knows how our clients will fare? And what about clients in the EU? As well as the financial implications, the whole reputation of the country is in question (does it still have one?). The cultural implications are huge. And I am worried not just for me, and others like me, but for the whole of the country, in all sorts of ways, far beyond financial considerations. These are startling times. As ever, as so many of us do, I am writing to try and make sense of things. But this time, I am not even sure it’s possible.
Liz Jones has worked as an editor in the publishing industry since 1998, and has been freelance since 2008. She doesn’t want to turn this blog into a place for political rantings, but will confine herself to commenting in a rather British fashion that she’s not best pleased right now.