Everywhere I look, someone is talking about the economy, and usually in negative terms. Words are thrown around as though they lack meaning: recession, layoffs, bailouts, debt, stimulus. At some point, talk of our troubled economy becomes nothing more than noise.
As a freelance writer in Houston, my perspective on the economy is unique. Several days ago, my wife and I had dinner with her parents, and my father-in-law made the comment that our freelancing careers were the most stable in the family.
“You can’t get fired or demoted or have your pay cut,” he said. The man has a point.
Texas is “considered flat” with regard to the economy, according to ABC News. The state offers a relatively stable housing and job market. In Houston, the punches of a troubled economy are not quite as devastating as in other parts of the country.
Freelancing in a troubled economy is not much different from freelancing in a sound economy. I haven’t noticed a decline in work as a result of the failing stock market or the increase in corporate layoffs. I am not immune to our troubled economy nor do I exist in an ignorant bubble. Nevertheless, I choose to remain positive.
Two months ago, a client contracted me to write a series of 25 articles about our troubled economy. He wanted me to freelance these stories for a fairly generous sum because he felt posting such information on his Web site would help drive traffic. Not two weeks later, I was solicited for a similar project by yet another client.
In the past six months, more than 50 percent of my freelancing work has dealt with the troubled economy. Clients want articles and information about debt reduction, savings, retirement plans and everything else the average American worries about during a recession.
In a way, it feels as though I am profiting from other people’s misfortune. However, I choose to see it as an opportunity to help people who feel depressed about their financial situations.
Indeed, the troubled economy affects every business and industry in the United States. My freelancing clients are not limited to financial Web site owners or financial service providers; some of my clients are in the home-improvement industry, the retail business, the travel industry. They want to find ways to encourage customers to spend their money despite the troubled economy.
From freelancing to food service, a troubled economy affects all careers and businesses. But there are always ways to improve your situation. In many cases, it is simply a matter of approaching your job from a new perspective. Freelancing with a focus on the economy has accomplished that goal for me.
I’ve also found I enjoy writing articles about personal finance and business more than I did when we weren’t experiencing economic troubles. The idea that one of my articles might help or inspire someone else makes it that much more valuable, regardless of the angle or theme.