Survey results #2: how’s your freelance business?

Friday 10th January, 2014

In yesterday’s post I looked at the reasons people give for going freelance in the heritage sector, and whether they would go back in-house. Today’s question is another crucial one – how’s business? With the changes in the sector and the loss of many in-house posts, there’s a sense that there must be many new freelancers in the market. So is the workflow keeping up with the number of people interested in doing it?

According to the people who completed the survey, the majority are finding they have as many, or more opportunities compared to last year.

About three-quarters of freelancers are finding their business is holding, or growing. I think this is tremendously positive, given the underlying sense that there might be increased competition and possibly also a reduction in heritage projects.

What’s the profile of those who answered the survey? They had a good spread of experience levels:

When I cross-referenced people’s experience levels with their stated level of opportunity, I found that those with 6-9 years’ experience were the most upbeat about their opportunities (percentage-wise). Those who were the least positive were those with 10+ years of experience – but the majority of this group still felt things were going OK.

Naturally, we will need to keep looking at trends in opportunity over several years to see how things change. But as I said in my comment piece for Museums Journal, refreshingly positive attitudes permeate the results of this survey –  and make me proud to be a heritage freelancer!

NEXT TIME we’ll examine the survey results that reveal where freelancers find their projects.


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