On a July afternoon in 2017, I lost my job as an editor at Vice, the digital news outlet. I’d come into the office on a Friday and just after lunch, HR called me in for a meeting and told me not to come back on Monday. I wasn’t the only one who was made redundant that day – the company was making significant cuts to its staff. I’m also not the only one to have lost their media job since, with over 2,000 job cuts happening in journalism in 2019 alone.
I decided to go freelance. Ironically enough, it felt like the more secure option. I’d flirted with the idea of becoming self-employed in the past, suspecting that my personality and lifestyle were much better suited to that way of working. But I was too scared to do it. I bought into all the horror stories that it was too hard, too insecure and too lonely. Now I’ve been freelance for nearly two years, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Planning to go freelance, however, is very different to abruptly doing it because you’ve lost your job. There weren’t many resources out there on this subject, with most of the advice about starting out as self-employed opening with "save up for at least six months first". Not all that helpful for someone who doesn’t have a job to go to anymore. So I decided to write a free ebook for handling the early days of self-employment. First Aid for Freelancers is like an emergency kit for new freelancers, written primarily for those who’ve come to self-employment as a result of redundancy.