*Epic Freelance News Roundup* — Hello 2020
I was planning to post some freelance news in January but life took over and I missed my window. That’s why I’m now posting this enormous list of freelance news from the last two months.
There’s a lot to chew on here, including some updates and reflection and about AB5 and related bills that freelancers are really ticked off about.
I’d added a quote from each piece or a little bit of commentary to give you some context.
“As the freelance market continues to grow around the world, it’s fast becoming clear that more talent is looking for per diem work rather than full-time positions, and companies are going to have to adapt hiring practices to embrace this reality. 2020 will be a landmark year in the history of the freelance market.”
These deductions could trim your freelance taxes by 20% or more, Freelancers Union
“Without a doubt, the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction (which is the 20 percent deduction available for qualifying pass-through businesses such as sole proprietorships, S-corporations and partnerships) is one that every freelancer should beware of because it can mean some serious savings. Freelance businesses are often considered pass-through because the business income is reported and taxed on the owner’s individual tax return.”
Introducing vision benefits for the self-employed, Freelancers Union
Show me the glasses!
An interview with Freelancers Union founder Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union
This is meaty.
“While we are on the road, we use various methods to earn an income. I produce copywriting content for clients all over the world, work I find through online freelancing websites. I also freelance as a creative writer, specializing in the topic of love and relationships. For the past eight years, I have written my blog Living Liberté, another source of income. My partner, meanwhile, is able to offer carpentry work on an ad-hoc basis. He’s also building an online coaching business.”
“Luckily, the emergence of professional networks like LinkedIn and gig economy platforms have completely changed the way we hire today. We can use global networks, public data, AI and scoring algorithms to find the right person for the task… While technology puts the entire world at our fingertips, personal connection and credibility are what close the deal.”
Pakistani youth power growth in freelance economy: report, Business Recorder
“Pakistani youth has propelled the country among the top destinations offering freelancing services, after Pakistan was placed at fourth spot, well above India and Bangladesh with 47 percent growth in freelance revenue in a recently released report by Payoneer.”
To help Black freelancers lay the groundwork for better emotional and mental health, HelloGiggles spoke to seven Black women writers about how freelancing has impacted their mental health and self-care, what it’s like to tell their most difficult stories, and how the media industry can be more supportive.
Going solo: miracle or mirage?, The Law Society Gazette (UK)
“For many lawyers, however, the allure of freelancing is not that it gives you the freedom to skydive on a Monday and draft an outsourcing agreement on a Tuesday, but rather the variety of work it brings.”
How freelancing can help your career, Fortune
“While both women have moved back to a full-time position…their experiences as freelancers armed them with tools that have helped their successful comebacks to the traditional job market.”
Great advice here… myth #4 especially.
How to Negotiate as a Freelancer, Harvard Business Review
“As a freelancer, then, when you enter into a negotiation, build the relationship as the reflection of your own brand and values. Do this by telling your own story, describing your unique qualifications and abilities, and finding common ground to build connections.”
Everything here is useful to think about, especially the first one on the list.
Welcome Aboard Our Newest Roller Coaster, the Freelancer, The New Yorker
A good laugh. Or cry.
“The study showed that 77% of executives have a ‘very good’ opinion of self-employment with 17% of them already having resigned to become freelancers.”
A thoughtful reflection.
There are many reasons freelancing is great. One of those that gets far too little airtime is how much more effectively you can care for your health as a freelancer, especially if you have a lot of health issues.
What my freelance clients taught me, Annie Wang on Medium
Sound advice from a UX designer.
Is the future of work stuck in the past?, Freelancers Union
Interesting commentary from the founder of Freelancers Union. “The independent workforce is well on its way to creating the social organizations that will form a positive, lasting change in how everyone works and lives. The only question is whether policymakers, philanthropists and business leaders will get behind these builders.”
5 things to consider before you ask to pick someone’s brain,Freelancers Union
Raise your hand if you hate the term “pick your brain.”
“Gig workers sit somewhere between small businesses and individuals, and as the freelance economy grows and evolves, the distinction between the two will continue to blur. But financial service providers and banks must be able to establish a clear distinction in order to service gig workers appropriately.”
What you should know about freelancing, The Seattle Times
Tried and true advice.
“As a work-from-home freelance writer and mother of two children (ages 11 and seven), I commit to at least two “do-it-yourself” (DIY) retreats per year for my professional development and mental health. My retreats are more than “self-care” or “me-time.” They are intentional time alone when I hit pause on daily tasks to focus on long-term priorities. DIY retreats are my cornerstone practice for work-life integration.”
Best freelance websites in 2020, TechRadar
Some places to look if you want to engage with marketplace sites as a freelancer.
Freelancer? Working in the Gig Economy? Four Retirement Plans to Consider, The Ticker Tape by Ameritrade
“Without a traditional employer to help you save, you might not even know your range of choices. The good news is that you have several plan choices as well as putting your money into a tax-advantaged individual retirement account (IRA), even if you don’t have a traditional employer. Here are four freelancer/self-employed retirement plans to consider.”
“Payment processes that assuage these fears are essential for companies working with skilled freelancers. Ad hoc workers desire wage advances, as well as access to flexible funds, instant payments and mobile solutions. Companies accustomed to paying freelancers via paper-based invoices and checks must pivot to faster digital disbursements.”
The risks and rewards of freelancing with a disability, Columbia Journalism Review
“After more than a dozen interviews and subsequent rejection emails, I turned to freelancing. At first, I expected to freelance for just a few months, until I received a full-time job offer. However, a year and a half later, I’m fully immersed in the freelancer’s lifestyle. I’ve concluded that editors are more likely to give me a chance when the computer screen hides my cerebral palsy.”
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, “Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that S4204 has been pulled off the agenda for the current lame-duck session, but he’s promising to bring it back in the next session.”
“Senate Bill 943 creates a so-called “portable benefits system” in the state where an entity, independent of any business, would broker those benefits for participants.”
“U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez in Los Angeles denied the freelance journalists and photographers’ request for a temporary restraining order on January 3, 2020, criticizing them for waiting three months after the statute was passed before filing suit, which he said belied their claim that there was an emergency.”
Legislative Republicans Tapping Into Freelancer Frustration, black voice news
“But now Senate Republican leaders, responding to the fallout AB 5 is causing in the so-called “gig economy,” are finding common ground with workers across party affiliations in a state where registered Democratic voters outnumber registered Republican voters by nearly 20 percentage points.”
The AB5 backlash: Singers, actors, dancers, theaters sound off on freelance law, The Los Angeles Times
“AB5, California’s new gig economy law, has left the state’s performing artist community in a state of fear and confusion.”
Proposal would end California cap on freelancer assignments, The Mercury News
“Bowing to intense criticism, the author of a sweeping new California labor law now wants to amend the statute to eliminate any cap on the number of assignments freelance journalists can take.”
The two sides to AB-5, and how we can fix the gap, Freelancers Union
From the founder of Freelancers Union: “The way I see it, there’s broad agreement that no one wants to hurt one group at the expense of the other. It’s possible to be disgusted at giant companies using legal loopholes to pay their employees as little as possible while also wanting the freedom to choose freelancing. And we can push for laws that protect both sets of workers.”