After the Great Recession hit in 2008, many people were laid off from positions they thought they’d have for a good long while. Industries shrank and corporate downsizing became the catch phrase of the day.
Former employees turned to less traditional forms of work, such as freelance writing, in order to keep a roof over their heads and the whites of a hungry wolf’s eyes from flashing as they imagined it circling their door.
How to navigate through the current wolf pack
For many of us who suffered the negative fallout of the recession, freelance writing offered an opportunity to earn money and remain productive in the dismal employment market. To some, it was the beginning of a whole new career; while others simply considered it a way to keep paying the bills until the economy improved.
Either way, it entailed the development of a new financial survival strategy that wasn’t dependent on a steady paycheck. Freelance writing can be lucrative for people who have dedication and talent, but the income stream can be sporadic.
Head back to steady work . . . or not?
As the economy began to improve again, some of these recent freelancers drifted back into full-time business positions because they liked the dependable salary, benefits, and the structure provided by a traditional office environment. Others were ready to give up their home offices for more sociable work settings, as well as the freedom to do their work without constant interruptions from friends, neighbors, and family who didn’t get that working from home is still actual work.
However, a substantial portion of us who gave the freelance life a try after our bricks-and-mortar jobs crashed and burned have grown to love it. We have no intention of entering the corporate arena again.
There is the fact, though, that successfully navigating the financial waters as a freelancer requires significant planning and organization. Choosing and using credit wisely goes a long way toward achieving and maintaining fiscal stability.
Just having basic money smarts may not be good enough today. You need to be wary of potential scams without being overly suspicious, to keep your bank account and lines of credit safe.
How financially savvy freelancers can succeed
Although advances in technology have created substantial improvements in most aspects of modern life, including electronic security measures, they may also have created an environment conducive to perpetuating scams.
Freelancers may be more vulnerable to predatory online con artists, so it’s important to keep up to date on information concerning credit card breaches and other threats to your finances. You probably learned the value of saving money while shopping online during the lean times.
If you’re a freelancer, you may also have learned that your career offers several other advantages in lieu of a steady paycheck: You can schedule your own time, avoid long and tiring commutes, and choose at least some of your projects.
Many modern freelancers really didn’t begin to thrive professionally until they were forced by adverse financial circumstances. The most successful ones have incorporating solid financial planning into their strategies for success.