This just in: The economy still isn’t great. In it’s been less-than-brilliant for freelancers, too. Creative Review today features an article outlining what I, and other freelancers, have been experiencing for some time.
In short, the trouble is tripled. Less work heading to agencies means they have a general lowered need to hire freelancers. Lower budgets mean the rates are down, and we’re earning less money. And in the agitated state of creative and economic wackiness, freelancers are hired and fired with greater frequency, leaving the “permalance” role, that general studio handyman who bounces from project to project within an agency, a thing of the past.
Check out the article if you’re sympathetic or curious.
A few quotes follow the article, several of which hit the nail on the head, methinks.
“I suspect being a freelance designer looking for a full-time role is tough now. While some groups are recruiting, there is a surplus of senior talent at the moment. We’ve been approached by a number of freelances we’ve previously worked with, actively looking for full-time positions. We generally need support from senior and highly experienced freelances during busy periods – a trusted and safe pair of hands.” — Dom Bailey
“There are fewer opportunities around as we are keeping things on a much tighter rein than last year, because of the economic pressures. If we do hire, we are paying about 15 per cent less than last year. It is still going to be very tight for at least another six months. Maybe things will pick up in the spring.” — Tony Marwick
“The market should be reasonable, as groups aren’t committing to full-time staff. If they see an upturn they’ll go the freelance route in the short term until they feel comfortable the worst is over. Pay seems to be holding up for digital freelances, especially for more senior positions.” — Will Mundow
There is some sentiment floating about that infers how freelancers are in-fact more in demand. The logic is sound; since firms are reluctant to hire full-time staff, mainly due to wavering clients, they will opt for freelancers to fill the gaps in creative labour, until things get more steady. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this first-hand, so by my eyes it’s fiction. But to those freelancers cashing in on the economic shenanigans, good on you. Onwards and upwards, dear friends.