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The news has been lit up lately with the c-word (coronavirus if you’ve been hiding under a rock). This is not an alarmist message about how to stay safe during these times.

I am writing out because this global health issue has caused the markets to go insane. There are talks of an economic downturn. The world is pretty freaked out, and that always affects finance and the job markets. 

These wobbly times might have you feeling a little nervous about job security.

So I started thinking about freelancing during a recession or a slow economy.

It turns out, being a consultant and independent worker is a really good thing, in a good or bad economy. 

When you’re a freelancer you’re a great alternative to a full time employee

Freelancers are cheap. Employees are expensive. 

Let me explain. Freelancers typically require no health insurance, retirement, or benefits. In the eyes of a business, you’re affordable. 

When a company is looking to tighten up its budget, freelancers are a bargain.

Your income is more diversified

When you’re in a full time job and face a mass layoff at say, Target Corporation, you are then jobseeking among a large pool of other laid-off Target employees competing for the same jobs.

This is a tough situation.

As a freelancer, you’re not dependent on one big paycheck. Your income is diversified.

If you lose a big client, you have a few others that can get you through the tough times.

You have an evergreen portfolio and resume

Freelancers are ina permanent state of advancement. Every new gig is a new piece for your portfolio. It’s another experience you can share. Its another software you learned how to use.

Your resume is always current and ready for action.

So when a hot job comes available online, you don’t spend weeks preparing your cover letter and resume. You just grab your resume, and portfolio and fire off your application. Speed is in your favor. Before your competition has even had a chance to dust off their old Word document resume, you’ve already applied and lined up a phone interview. 

Rain or Shine: The time to freelance is now

I am optimistic about the future of our economy. I lived through the recession of 2008 as a just-outta-college kid. What kept me permanently employed was my resourcefulness and willingness to figure it out. I found the hot industries and niches that were immune to fluctuations. I’ll apply this same optimism and scrappy energy to anything that comes.

For you, I hope this gives you even more incentive to start freelancing. If the economy takes a dive, you’ll have a freelancing history under your belt and confidence to weather any storms.