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Did the Recession Drive you to Freelance?

lenaellis
Moderator
Lena E Moderator Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 28

We love to hear stories from our users about how they became freelancers, and what drove them to make that change. We pay attention to trends and the reasons our users are choosing to leave the brick and mortar world to join the freelancing field.

 

One trend that we have found is a rise in freelancing as a result of the economic recession. There are users who had to leave their traditional job because they lived in an area that was hit pretty hard economically by the recession and jobs disappeared, like manufacturing.

 

Do any of you relate to this trend, or have a similar story?

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petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 28

Nope,  the opposite. I had a perfectly cushy job and packed it in for Freelancing.

reinierb
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
3 of 28

I own a successful B&M business, but I have been semi-retired for the past three years so I started freelancing as a way to help to pass the time.

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
4 of 28

I have a story, but it's one I'd rather not share in the public forum. Upwork should maybe figure out another way to get feedback on this question.

barada00
Community Guru
Baris A Member Since: Mar 15, 2017
5 of 28

I don't think this is the answer Upwork wants to hear but I had a high paying job in an advertising agency. Started freelancing to wake up whenever I like. Now I wake up at 7 o'clock in the morning everyday including weekends. I'm not sure if I reached my goal because I don't want to sleep till noon anymore. I think this is confusing for me but I'm happy which is what counts.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 28

@Baris A wrote:

I don't think this is the answer Upwork wants to hear but I had a high paying job in an advertising agency. Started freelancing to wake up whenever I like. Now I wake up at 7 o'clock in the morning everyday including weekends. I'm not sure if I reached my goal because I don't want to sleep till noon anymore. I think this is confusing for me but I'm happy which is what counts.


 lol same reasons. I started sleeping until noon and then pulled myself out of it and started waking up at 7am, but then I've recently been enjoying programming again and started staying up intil 4am either gaming or programming, so I'm back to sleeping till noon again. lol I realized though that working late at night is kinda nice because it's so quiet. I've seen other freelancers say the same thing.

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
7 of 28

I haven't really made a change. I've been working freelance since about 1992. 

 

m_njari
Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
8 of 28

Lena: Do any of you relate to this trend, or have a similar story?

 

Yes, I do. I was used to such a great working environment that when the company began restructuring beginning with branches in countries where the economy was doing badly, I couldn't imagine how it'd be like to go job searching (again). Then finally when my branch was pinpointed for closure (to be 'swallowed' by another subsidiary the company had freshly acquired), some firm was outsourced to prepare us for the transition (to joblessnessSmiley Very Happy) - kind of, giving us a soft landing... 

 

One thing I picked from the 3-day seminar was: Take this as an opportunity to do what you've always loved. 

 

And here I am. I love writing. Before I found someone to pay me to write I wrote for free...Smiley Tongue

 

 

 

 

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
9 of 28

I have freelanced in whole or part for nearly 30 years. My first freelancing client sent me printed source materials in the mail and I mailed back floppy disks with WordPerfect files on them.

 

I did get laid off in 2010, but at that point I was already working from home on whatever schedule I chose and still freelancing on the side, so my last job was more or less like a large client (who also happened to provide medical insurance).

 

I didn't really make a decision to freelance full time (though it wasn't the first time I'd done so)--I just mentioned on Facebook that I'd been laid off and past colleagues and clients started contacting me, and within a couple of weeks I had a full roster without ever going looking for a client.

 

This is a bit of a diversion from the question posed, but I suspect that the trend that Lena describes plays a significant role in the number of freelancers entering the field with a strong employment mentality, and the discomfort with the business aspects of freelancing. While I'm sure there are exceptions, I suspect that there are significant qualitative differences between people who have chosen self-employment and those who feel forced to use it as a stopgap when employment isn't available.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 28

For most people, working as a freelancer on Upwork is about lifestyle.

 

It is not about maximizing profit.

 

I always caution people who come here claiming they want to earn money that this is not the best way to earn money quickly.

 

To be sure, there is money to be made here, but it takes:

- work

- patience

- skill

- professionalism

 

Freelancers without genuine in-demand skills and the right attitude and personality quirks necessary to succeed at this are simply wasting their time if their primary goal is to earn money.

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