Are you interested in freelance work? Some thoughts and opportunities to share.
Freelance work can be a great option for some people as it allows flexibility to work as much or little as you want to, are limited to, or need to.
When conducted remotely, as most freelance work is, it allows you to work where, when and how you wish to. As long as the work is done to the time and quality agreed with the buyer, they are usually completely indifferent to how you prefer to work, what tools you need to do it, where you are located, or anything else specific to your work that makes it easier for you.
Discrimination can be significantly reduced as the buyer may not even know that you have a disability. Unless having disability-informed expertise is relevant to the specific job or gig, you may wish to share your identity or experiences as they relate to disability, or not, as you prefer.
It is not for everyone as it means you are essentially self-employed and need to manage yourself like a small business. There is generally less job security and no benefits such as a pension or health insurance, unlike becoming an employee.
It is a part of the workplace that is large and growing fast. I did a presentation at Access Israel's 12th International Webinar on Disability-Inclusive Employment in Jan 2023 on the Opportunities and challenges of freelance work for people with disabilities that outlines the scale and forecast growth. Freelancers and self-employed individuals currently make up just under half the workforce (46.4%) and this is growing in both value and number of people involved.
Platforms like Fiverr can make this a bit easier as they amalgamate buyers and sellers of services and have easy ways to engage and ensure that you get paid as agreed. They do charge for this but it reduces the administrative effort and time finding customers that want your specific services.
For over a year, Open has been supporting Fiverr with a disability inclusion program, Fiverr Empower, designed specifically to support freelancers with a disability get onto the platform and up and running really smoothly and successfully. The program is free and seeks to provide a bit of direct support and advantage to the community of talented individuals who often experience disadvantage in other parts of the workforce.
If you are interested in joining the program or know someone in the disability community who is, please take a look at the details of the program here.
Are you working as a freelancer? What has your experience been? Would you like to be a freelancer? What sort of freelance work would you most like to find and work in?
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