Going freelance means that you have to be prepared to follow a different model when it comes to managing your finances. And while those who’re holding down a five-to-nine look forward to the monthly pay-day, freelancers don’t have the luxury of a scheduled income.
So how has this Covid-19 recession affected them? We asked four freelancers how they section their finances and keep a list of jobs coming in, especially during an economic downturn.
“When Covid-19 hit, the economy fell too. No one wanted to pay extra for life-coaching sessions. The companies that hired me regularly told me to put a pause on all projects.
I was starting to get a little scared. If that kept up, I’d be officially jobless in a matter of weeks. I decided to reach out to my friend who works for a leadership training company in New Zealand. He had approached me earlier during the year to see if I could help create lesson plans for the company.
Within two weeks, I got the job. It paid a lot less than what I used to earn pre-coronavirus, but it was enough to keep me going. I also realised I enjoyed writing and coming up with lesson plans so I decided to do more research.
It wasn’t exactly life-coaching, but I was still using my expertise for the industry!” – Parvina Dupa, 33, freelance life coach
“It’s no secret that freelancers rely on connections. Be it from workshops you’ve attended or through past employers.
However, I think the most important thing we have to take note of is to maintain these connections. Drop an email to your past clients whenever you know you have a free block of time. Ask them, politely, if they need any freelance help.
There’s no shame in putting yourself out there, especially when you want to widen your scope of clients. Waiting on the same client isn’t the best strategy as they may sometimes bail on you if they can find cheaper alternatives!” – Marilyn Loke, 47, freelance UX writer
“I’ve been teaching for five years now and during Covid-19, while several of my students didn’t want to stop physical classes, the government implemented the circuit breaker.
I had been so out of touch with social media and video conferencing applications that I only knew that Skype existed. However, after speaking with one of my students, I decided to download Zoom. It wasn’t easy, but I’m even using PDF worksheets during classes now.
In the past six months, I’ve picked up way more skills than I thought! You have to be open to take risks and try new things. If I decided to just give up on my students because I didn’t know how to use those applications, I’d be a bad teacher.” – Goh Yee Ting, 44, freelance tuition teacher
“There’s always a high chance that your work schedule will change at the last minute. And sometimes, clients may retract their project offer. For me, I’m a textile artist by trade, so I work on mainly exhibitions and interior designs.
When I first started out, I had many clients who would back out last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. I would go months without a job…it was terrifying.
However, as time passed, I managed to find an alternative means of income – teaching at art schools. During Covid-19, that was what kept my income stable. I hosted crochet workshops and textile printing classes on Zoom.” – Sarah Rahlan, 28, freelance artist