- Director Dispatches, Community
The Freelancer’s Bible: Voices and Wisdom Fueling a New Workforce
Next Tuesday, November 13, marks a special occasion. It is the release date of my first book, The Freelancer’s Bible, a collection of freelance wisdom that I hope will serve as a guide for the growing independent workforce.
The Freelancer’s Bible is a collection of insights and experiences from the journey I’ve taken over the last two decades – being introduced to the freelance life, becoming part of this growing community, and working to create an infrastructure that can unite freelancers of all backgrounds and empower a movement.
This journey has been rooted in advocacy. Taking a moment to look back seems part of a natural progression for me: my grandparents and father devoted their lives to the labor movement, it is what I studied in school, and it is the field in which I chose to work.
Early into my career as a labor lawyer, I landed a contract gig at a firm in New York City. Even though I worked full-time, I did not have access to the same common rights, protections, and benefits as the traditional employees with whom I worked side by side each day.
Before long, my inner activist started asking questions. How many independent workers could be in the same situation as me? Why aren’t independent workers afforded the same opportunities as traditional employees? What could be done to change this?
These questions lead me to establish Working Today, a small nonprofit that was tasked with understanding these issues. Through our work it was evident that a large number of independent workers were in this very situation, and that number was growing rapidly.
This insight set us on a mission to create new types of labor support organizations that would unite and empower a movement – a movement that could fuel a changing economy and change the face of our workforce. And since that time we've established Freelancers Union, Freelancers Insurance Company, and Freelancers Medical to meet the needs of independent workers.
I’ve learned many lessons on my journey throughout these years of working with and on behalf of freelancers, but the most important one is that freelancing is not just a job. Freelancing is an identity, a lifestyle, a community, and a powerful movement. The Freelancer’s Bible is the product of the conversations, experiences, and relationships built along the way. It is a vehicle for independent workers to continue to make freelancing a sustainable reality and show that #WeAreWhatWeNeed.