Every so often we run across an article that really catches the key themes of what we learn in our research on independent workers.
Minnesota Public Radio's Life as a Freelance Musician: "Scary but a lot of fun" is such an article. It pretty much sums up what we call the yin and yang of freelancing.
Freelancers like the freedom, flexibility and control freelancing provides. They also often tell us it's fun. But in exchange they have to deal with stress, hard work and uncertainty.
The article covers 3 classical musicians and their lives as freelancers. All three cobble together a mix of gigs that include performing, teaching and things unrelated to music to generate income. Key quote on one musician's efforts:
She gives music lessons, plays with both the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and a quartet, and works as a ski instructor. The balancing act includes things that have "nothing to do with music," she said — keeping track of jobs, for example, and driving across town to get to gigs. And it's something that musicians learn on their own.
The article's title fully explains both sides of freelancing. On the good side it's fun. Key quote on why it's also scary:
Like freelancers in any field, freelance musicians worry about where their next paycheck will come from, and when. Sometimes there won't be any work for a while, Burton said, and then suddenly she'll be busy again.
We consistently hear about the yin and yang of freelancing in our interviews, focus groups and surveys. It's nice to see articles that clearly articulate this.