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If you are a freelancer working in the web industry and have some time left next week, consider watching WebExpo — one of the best-known industry events in continental Europe, online and offline.
When it comes to freelance work, the often-quoted choice Big, Fast, Cheap is a big lie, argues freelance designer Benek Lisefski in his article: “One of them is never optional, and sometimes you can't even pick two.”
The Four Stages Of Highly Successful Freelancers is a vintage Jon Younger’s article on the stages some freelancers go through during their careers.
Our take: Great article. The only thing missing is money. Longer freelance careers lead to higher earnings, as demonstrated, for example, by the State of Independence In America 2019 report, where older freelancers earned on average substantially more than their younger peers.
The latest editorial in The Economist calls out the left-leaning identity politics (aka woke) as threatening, illiberal left. The renowned magazine, well-known for its support of entrepreneurship and free markets, acknowledges rising tensions between liberal and illiberal forces in the West, and predicts further escalation.
“Only liberals appreciate diversity in all its forms and understand how to make it a strength. Only they can deal fairly with everything from education to planning and foreign policy so as to release people’s creative energies. Classical liberals must rediscover their fighting spirit. They should take on the bullies and cancellers. Liberalism is still the best engine for equitable progress. Liberals must have the courage to say so.”
Our take: It is quite rare for a centrist media outlet to spell it out this way, but the trend is there, and true liberals will have to deal with it, one way or the other. Nevertheless, the label “illiberal left” may stick for long.
Jeremy Clarkson, the creator of Top Gear and a global media celebrity, went freelance as a solo farmer on his farm — and the resulting documentary series Clarkson’s Farm is a wild ride, not only on his huge Lamborghini tractor! (IMDb 9.2/10)
Great reports on freelance work deserve to be recognized and remembered. One of those is the extensive 2016 study named Independent Work from the McKinsey Global Institute.
The report provides a sensitively handled taxonomy of freelancers and a comparison with other research. It makes the sober estimate that about 13% of the American job market is fully freelance (27% including side jobs), and reminds the reader that there were more independent workers in advanced economies in the past than today — up to 45% in the USA by the beginning of the 20th century. Full PDF report here.
A widely discussed article The death of behavioral economics predicts an impending decline of the whole field, including behavioral models often recommended to freelancers — e.g. by experts like Dan Ariely and his books on personal finance.
Our take: The title is obviously an overstatement, but behavioral economics is in deep replication crisis indeed. Stars like Scott Alexander defend it. However, with the onset of machine learning, who knows if behavioralists’ simplistic claims have any future?
There are industries where it is quite advantageous for freelance experts to be hired through a boutique agency as an intermediary. A great example in the industry of life sciences is the US-based LifeSciHub, led by Sheila Mahoney. It helps experts get the complex paperwork right and drug companies find talents and fulfill their due diligence obligations — a real win-win for everybody.
Bilingual copywriter Carlie Sitzman’s blog post for Freelancers Union outlines What to know before becoming an international freelancer, and concludes: Nothing is obvious, don’t take anything for granted.
“It’s time for a radical shift in how we present ourselves as designers,” argues Benek Lisefski in his article Person before portfolio. His point is that the design process and its rather predictable outcomes became de-facto industry standards, presented by empty buzzwords. What differs is the person behind the design.