Freelancer | free·lanc·er |ˈfrēˌlansər/
–a person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorized by an organization or
–a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer
Did you notice that there’s no mention of a specific field listed in that definition?
That’s because, regardless of the fact that it’s most commonly associated with freelance work, you don’t have to just be a writer in order to qualify for freelancer status.
Essentially, as long as you aren’t controlled by, or have an exclusive contract with a particular employer, you guessed it, you’re a freelancer!
And you can be doing a heck of a lot more than just writing and still be a freelancer….
These are just some examples of freelance jobs
- Outside Sales
- Stenographer/Court Reporter
- Event Planner
- Personal Trainer/Yogi
- Make-up Artist/Hair Stylist/Barber/Groomer
- Graphic Designer (Web, Cartoonist, etc.)
- Independent Consultant (in any number of fields)
- Virtual Assistant (assuming you can juggle multiple clients)
Practically any job that you can do would categorize you as a freelancer in that field, as long as you control who, when and where you work.
Freelancing is not just for creative types
An article from DailyWorth was recently brought to my attention.
In it, Sandy M. Fernandez interviews Elaine Grogan Luttrull, a CPA who is focused on working with “artists and arts organizations”, and one of the questions asked was:
What are the biggest financial issues freelancers face?
Well, the Ms. Luttrull goes on to answer the question by referring to her clients, and blah blah blah…I lost interest.
It’s not because I didn’t agree that freelancers in general often need business and financial guidance, because it’s a mostly true statement.
The problem I have is that not all freelancers are creative types–as I so extensively outlined in the above list.
the way I see it, it’s a disservice for Ms. Fernandez to phrase the question in that manner, and for the DailyWorth editor to allow that phrasing to be published, especially seeing as how Ms. Luttrull only works with a small sub-class of freelancers.
And, it is also a misstep for the Ms. Luttrull to not correct Ms. Fernandez and explain that while the term “freelancers” is a broad class, that she only can speak of the sub-class that she personally deals with.
In the same way of of evil triumphing when good people do nothing, so too it is bad for people to allow misconceptions and inaccuracies to stand and perpetuate the cycle of confusion on the parts of people looking for advice and guidance.
It’s no wonder people are so confused when those who take it upon themselves to be informative provide misinformation.
If you keep being told that “freelancer are creative types”–writers, artists, and the like–then you’ll never be able to recognize the information that will be applicable and helpful to your and your business.
It’s difficult enough to run a business, but when you don’t even know where to look for helpful advice, or feel like advice doesn’t apply to you because it is presented in a way in which it feels like it excludes you, of course you’re going to be confused!
So, just remember one thing–if you control to whom, when & how you will provide your services, you are a freelancer.
Even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body!