I’ve been a some form of freelancer since 1998. Having developed Websites and marketing activities for a number of companies and individuals, I’ve seen the pros and cons to being an independent contractor. The biggest benefit is being your own boss. Choosing what jobs you take on and which ones you let go.
But there is a major disadvantage to being a “free-agent,” people are constantly trying to pick your brain without compensating you. They don’t mean you ill will but they are harming you. Your time is money, just like theirs. Another huge advantage of being a freelancer is that you don’t have the heft of larger firm to go up against clients who don’t pay and other such matters.
This is where the Freelancers Union comes in.
Formed in New York in 1995, by Sara Horowitz, It’s a guild of sorts of freelancers who are coming together to help each other out. Afterall you’re always stronger enmass. Their tagline sums up their mission:
“Building a better future for the independent workforce.”
Sara sums up the need for this union extremely well on the site:
Nearly one in three working Americans is an independent worker. That’s almost 54 million people – and growing. At Freelancers Union, we strive to make freelancing better now and in the future through joint benefits, live member events, expert guides, and online networking opportunities.
Freelancers Union gives independent workers a powerful voice through political action, research, and thought leadership. We aim to ensure that independent contractors receive adequate rights, protections and professional benefits.
Members of Freelancers Union play an active role in leading community initiatives and advocacy campaigns. We’re a community that looks out for one another – and we’re only as strong as our members.
If you are a freelancer be sure to check out the Freelancers Union. It’s free to join and there are lots of perks to being a part of something bigger than yourself.