Self-Employment, Rights & Pay, Care

Rachel Dobbs on Precarious Work

Rachel Dobbs shares a range of use­ful tools and resources from the per­spec­tive of a ser­i­al freelancer.

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A black and white graphic which looks like a graph and has the text 'Precarious Workers Self-care checklist'

As precarious work (e.g. self-employed, freelance and zero hours) becomes increasingly the norm for countless workers (within and beyond visual arts), it can be hard to work out when to say YES or NO to different work opportunities. I struggle with this myself on a weekly basis. To counter this, I published a Self Care Checklist for Precarious Workers (inspired by, and built on the foundations of the Checklist of Care published by artist Shelia Ghelani.

I would recommend looking into Precarious Workers Brigade - a UK-based group of precarious workers in culture and education. Their workbook “Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education” is a must read for anyone who teaches employability, ‘professional practice’ and work-based learning.

If you are new to self-employment, I would also recommend checking out my guide to Being Really Good At Being Self-Employed. You will need to get really good at saving because you need an emergency fund of at least 3 months-worth of out-goings as a basic safety net. You will need to get good at ‘doing the maths’, get good at living on a budget, get good at cooking yourself cheap and healthy meals and start using the 30-day list for non-essential purchases.