ICBA Blog

Read What’s Hot Around the Web: April 2019

A roundup of independent contractor news and insights

We’ve curated some of the top topics circulating the web regarding the gig economy over the last month. In this installment, we cover the importance of stress relief for independent contractors, how the gig economy helps us hurdle obstacles, some hot topics for marketing professionals and journalists, and major money matters.

Take good care of yourself.

Being an independent contractor has its freedoms and advantages, but it also comes with a unique set of stressors. That’s why monitoring stress and anxiety, taking adequate breaks, and seeking support from others is so important. Many people who have chronic pain or mental health conditions choose to leave nine-to-five jobs in favor of freelancing so that they have more flexibility to manage their symptoms and tend to self-care. But if being an independent contractor adds more stress, the situation can be a double-edged sword. This Forbes piece offers solutions for managing that strain so that freelancing can truly be the liberating income-seeking option people seek.

Each individual has to find the right stress-relieving outlet. For a little fun, take a look at the GIFs that Heidi Burton, a Toronto based illustrator, makes when she needs to unwind.

The gig economy breaks down barriers.

You can order a rideshare in the wee hours to get you home safely or take you to an early morning flight. So why can’t you message a therapist? It’s a question you might find yourself asking if you’ve ever been in crisis during non-standard office hours, or in a remote area where a professional isn’t available, or if physically getting to a practice presents an obstacle. Through various apps, individuals can now be paired with a therapist and engage in help via text, chat, and other methods. This Salon article discusses how therapy has come to the gig economy, which has made the service more accessible, and in many cases cheaper.

The gig economy is also building bridges.

The gender pay gap, at 20%, is still a pretty big canyon when we look at the nation’s economy as a whole. But it’s narrow when we only look at gig work, where the gender pay gap is just 2%. Read this Orange County Register article for the details.

Celebrate these wins for writers.

When Contently (a content marketing site that connects writers with clients) sent out an email to its robust list of freelancers, saying that it would be instating a percentage fee for payments, no one was happy. The writer world was abuzz with the news, and writers did what they do—they wrote. They took their craft to email and made their displeasure known. And it worked! Contently’s CEO eventually sent a new email apologizing for the first correspondence. The new note stated that the fee would not take effect. (Read more about what happened in this Inc. article.) The win brought a sigh of relief to writers everywhere who hustle in an industry where rates have been dwindling.

One of the toughest aspects of the freelance writing field is pitching ideas and knowing who to pitch, or more specifically, who pays well for articles, essays, and the like—and who pays on time. The Who Pays Writers? website has long been a helpful resource for gauging a publication’s potential rates and the payment process, but writers have to sift through it to find those desirable pub’s. The Columbia Journalism Review recently used that data to compile a list that ranks publications. Find out where your target publications come in.

Feel good financially.

If you feel fabulous regarding just about every aspect of freelancing or gigging except for the cash flow part, you’re not alone. Managing the money is one of the trickiest parts of being your own boss. This Medium article delves into just how confusing it can be. Apparently, it’s so daunting that some people have been avoiding their accounting altogether. The article was written by the co-founder of Lance, “a mobile-first platform that empowers individual freelancers with dynamic backend business management and insights.” The company did a survey on the topic of bookkeeping. If you’ve been lax about it, take this post-tax-season time to get hooked up with someone who can help.

If you need a little money-management inspiration, turn to this piece on The Cut, which offers five solid tips on how to feel better about cash. The advice comes from freelancers who’ve been in the game for a while and have learned from past pitfalls.