Don't Confuse Holiday Down Time with the Current Economy

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/12/dont-confuse-holiday-down-time-with-the-current-economy/

coffee

You’ve probably noticed slim pickings these past few weeks. Everyone looking for work are reporting dismal findings. In fact, I receive many letters each day asking if this is a result of the current economy. My answer is “maybe not.

Don’t get me wrong, times are going to be a little bit tough coming up, but that’s not the main reason you’re not finding any work this month. November and December are traditionally slow months because folks don’t want to hire during the holidays. They don’t want to spend money on writers during that time. Indeed we’re experiencing tough economic times, but there will always be folks looking for writers, especially online. Even though advertising is down for many websites, folks still need to stock their sites and blogs with content and that’s where we come in.

Things will pick up after January.  I’m not saying there’s going to be a big hiring boom, but you’ll see more jobs. December is always a dismal month for freelancers, please don’t get discouraged.

Comments

  1. Thanks, I needed that. Was starting to get a bit depressed! I kept telling myself, and the wife, that it was just the holiday vacations but it is good to hear it from someone else.

  2. To remedy this, I decided that this year I would really kick up the job search and self-promoting BEFORE the holidays and it worked! I managed to land a few assignments to keep me busy over the holidays and a couple have turned into steady gigs now :)

  3. I think it depends on the client. Some of them are hiring close to the end of the year for projects starting in early 2009. To assume that “no one” is hiring at any time of year would be a mistake, IMO.

  4. Thanks it is good to get the elephant out in the open and kick him around.

    There is some blues always associated with winter and the post holidays time. New year can’t come to soon and with it comes work in almost all professions.

    Any way thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Over the weekend, I was hired for a proofreading job that may be long-term. I know other people were hired for that too. I had lost my biggest job in July so don’t give up hopes over the holidays!

  6. This is a great opportunity to remind everyone about financial planning as an independent writer. December is an awful month, (and for me, October and November weren’t really great, either) but there are ways to weather the calm. Keep track of your receivables. Knowing what receivables are due when can take away a bit of the panic. You’ll know your expense/spending gap, and can plan accordingly. If you haven’t already established a “bad times” fund, start doing so immediately. Put aside a percentage of your monthly receivables until you achieve savings that can meet your basic needs for at least 3 months. I keep that fund in a separate account that is not as accessible as others. Some people I know keep that stash in another financial institution entirely…with no online access, no ATM card. The effort required to drive to a bank and visit a teller in order to withdraw funds is a great way to put the mental brakes on any expenditure.

    At the moment, I’m working in the hardest hit market in the country – Detroit. Unemployment is at 10%, house prices have dropped more drastically than in any other market, and this largely automotive-dependent area has been paralyzed by September’s crash. With the release of the bridge loans, there appears to be some movement that may shake loose some work in the new year.

    Here’s hoping for that. In the meantime, I’m proud (and relieved) that there’s still money in the bank to pay bills, there are still some receivables due, and I’ve managed debt well. That’s especially important, if like me, there is no other adult as a source of support.

    In the down time of the last 3 months, I’ve also managed to have a clean basement, laundry room, work shop and garage simultaneously. I need to take pictures. With any luck, I’ll be way too busy for the phenomenon to ever occur again.

    Here’s to a fiscally stable new year for everyone on FWJ!

  7. Thanks! I’ve been wondering if it’s just me, just December, or just a taste of things to come. It’s awfully hard to relax during the slow times when you’re not sure they’re going to pick up again.

    Not that I’m taking this as a guarantee, but it’s a great message to start the new year on.

    Thanks, I needed that!

  8. Like others, I too had begun to think maybe my career choice of late was either wrong for me – or the economy was so tanked I couldn’t find a writing job; neither was true. I got a writing assignment this morning!

    Keep the faith, gang.

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