So there you are, high above the crowds, walking a tightrope strung between two tall buildings…and no safety net in case you fall.
Welcome to the wonderful world of freelancing.
If you’re the type that needs security, stop reading here because in the freelance life the only security you have is your talent.
Two-weeks paid vacations? Don’t make me laugh. You take off for two weeks and you lose two weeks’ pay…in addition to the vacation costs.
Sick leave? Har, har, har. Unemployment benefits? Bwa ha, ha, ha. Disability? Please, you’re killing me here!
Biggest of all, there’s no company-paid health insurance, so unless you’re covered by your spouse or you’re doing so well you can afford it, you do without. Because make no mistake, health insurance is very expensive—so much so I went 12 years without any. And let me tell you, the view from the tightrope was downright scary.
Medicine? It’s not unusual to pay $50 a month for a single prescription. Have something serious wrong that that can cost $100s per month. It can easily get to the point where you must choose between meds and food. (And you thought that only happened to old folks.)
And God forbid something major befalls you—heart attack kidney failure—and lack of health insurance can find you lying on a gurney in some hallway of a charity hospital waiting your turn. I had standing orders to just shoot me if it happened to me.
Of course if you’re young when you start out you’re probably healthy as a polar bear. All you have to do is avoid accidents and epidemics and pray another Great Recession isn’t around the corner.
How did you perform your high wire act without a safety net?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange