Freelancing Around The World

Jul 19, 2007

Several tidbits of news illustrate how freelancing is becoming a more popular option worldwide. From Canada, a columnist who has been looking for work for 4 months, after 22 years behind a desk, decides he may just prefer freelancing after all. "There are lots of advantages to being on your own. I have the flexibility to do other things in life exactly when I want, and a proper work-life balance seems easier to attain. When I began looking for work, this was not my starting point. I would not have settled for anything but a full-time permanent position somewhere, with an office and a daily commute." (Of course this late-career worker, being a Canadian, doesn't have his retirement health care to worry about, which makes flexibility easier too). This article from the Shanghai Daily profiles three freelancers, all young creative types, who are overcoming some serious cultural biases, as the article matter-of-factly states: "They are considered by the old Chinese standards to be unstable, irresponsible and to lead a messed-up life without a professional future." Yet the TV scriptwriter, photographer, and art editor profiled all appear to be quite passionate and successful. Finally, in Saudi Arabia, government ministries and private companies are setting up lots of women-only telecommuting centers. There is a great need for these women's skills, yet "moral concerns" about women working alongside men--so sex-segregated office spaces, for salaried employees and growing numbers of freelancers, are the answer they've come up with.