Freelancing is often seen as synonymous with flexibility and freedom. The only thing driving you—and stopping you—is yourself.
However, a recent survey by printer giant Epson shows that freelancing can be limiting as well as liberating.
Career compromise and skill decay
The freelance workforce continues to grow in an environment where people are increasingly struggling to find a way to juggle the demands of family, career and time for themselves. It’s seen as a great solution for many.
Epson’s survey of 1000 UK freelancers, found that 41% had chosen to freelance to get the career they wanted. However,
- 29% of freelancers felt their career progression has been stunted
- 27% admitted that they have de-skilled since going freelance.
This is a concern, as the skills required by clients constantly change with the evolving global, digital, cultural and economic business landscape, If freelancers can’t upskill and adapt, investing in their own professional development, they may find themselves left behind—acquiring less work or being forced to accept lower rates of pay for their work in a very competitive marketplace.
In response to these findings, Epson is hosting a series of expert-led workshops at the EcoTank Pop-Up, a co-working space the company has set up in London’s Covent Garden. The program will include talks on subjects particularly helpful to the self-employed, with the aim of giving them the support and knowledge that will help them prosper in their careers.
Turning the tables
Annika Fagerstrom, head of consumer products at Epson UK, says it’s understandable that, with so many other things to do, freelancers find it hard to make self-improvement a priority.
“Freelance workers quickly discover that they must become a ‘jack of all trades’; handling their own accounts and taxes, office equipment, marketing and IT, and fitting all of this in around their paid commissions… it’s no surprise that many find it hard to attend training courses as well.”
Epson has some tips for staying on top of your game:
- Invest in training courses to make sure that your skillset is as advanced in possible – this can also include free and online qualifications.
- Make invoicing and admin as manageable as possible by implementing payment and order processing systems that will take the headaches and hassles out of day-to-day manual tasks.
- Network, network, network – events are crucial to raising your visibility in the industry and helping you land those jobs. Make sure you shout about yourself online too – use social media to spread your skills!
Pop along to the Pop Up
Located in Covent Garden at 21 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LD, until 28th October, Epson’s EcoTank Pop Up provides a unique retail experience and a co-working space where flexible workers such as freelancers, bloggers and owners/employees of small and medium-sized businesses can work and meet with like-minded peers. Visitors have free access to secure Wi-Fi and unlimited printing, as well as a kitchen stocked with refreshments to keep themselves going.
Epson’s EcoTank Pop Up is fully stocked with the latest EcoTank models, which have ultra-high-capacity ink tanks and eliminate the need for cartridges. Workers can try out and buy them on site.
Want to find out more about Epson’s talks and events at the Pop Up? Check out their program for full details.