The Human Freelancer

Happy and honest self-employment for conscientious newcomers

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There’s something the school career adviser never told me I thought after reading this disgracefully paraphrased maxim to avoid copyright complications.

“Find your thing then do it better than anybody else can. Even if you worry it has no value, because it does, and other people will see that value too.”

Sadly, these sentiments are alien to many people of my generation.

In the nineties, the British education system felt like it was designed to manufacture standardised employable drones. Injection- moulded commodities ready to slot neatly into off-the-shelf careers.
Skeleton sat opposite a frightened person
It continued at university too, someone who’d made it was on a fast-track graduate recruitment scheme, if they passed a battery of weird psychometric exams to test if you were subservient and malleable enough.

I’m told the education system has changed since then. I really hope so. In a perfect world, career advisers would ask questions like what are your talents? or better still, what makes you happy? Instead, a grey man I’d never met before took one look at my maths results and told me I’d never work in computing.

Good job I didn’t listen. I fought hard for my computer science degree, but it took another decade in corporate wilderness to liberate my dormant talents and find creative fulfilment as a freelance copywriter and photographer in the digital industry.

So here’s my point. Contrary to the career advice given by some well-intentioned people, it’s possible to do what you love and make a living at the same time. It just needs the sort of resourcefulness, flexibility and self-belief that they don’t teach you at school.

And that’s your obstacle.

What stands between you and the resplendent joy of three-hour lunches followed by an afternoon frig is the legacy of your schooling. It’s probably left you with an undernourished belief in your abilities and a repressed appetite for new challenges.

So you have a choice. Either slip on your tube-face and stagger aimlessly with the walking dead: it’s good enough for most people, and greedy capitalism always welcomes an extra somnambulant drone to prop it up. Or follow your true calling and realise that there’s no such thing as work-life balance, just life. And pleasure, fulfilment and happiness. Freedom. All under your own steam.

Not everyone makes that choice, let alone realises they even have one.


  • It’s possible to do what you love and make a living At the same time
  • Only you are qualified to give yourself career advice
  • Acknowledge you have choice and do what’s right for you
The Human Freelancer book

LOOK! There's a book full of this shit and more!

Self-help business books perpetuate the myth that success is relentless growth and more of everything means progress. They preach about bookkeeping and market research: things you might need to do of course. But let’s face it they’re fucking boring.

The Human Freelancer book is your antidote: stuffed full of emotional support and insightful advice for vulnerable newbies to self-employment like you.

Buy it now