In our research on how young people cope with making a living, we created an imaginary character called the Lifestyle Hacker, which represented people who had gone through a period of unemployment, and had realised that the only viable option left was to create their own lifestyle, or in more positive terms turn their hobby into a job, like Consuela. Through these they make use of their skills to develop new projects and…make a living.
They see their own assets as the best form of support, like Edita. Although many of these are unemployed or underworked, they make use of their networks to share assets and skills, like Edwin, often not bothering with formal support, because services such as the state find it difficult to recognise and value the work conditions of freelancers. This lack of understanding creates risks that their work is not recognised or even co-opted by others. In some cases, such as for freelancers working through digital marketplaces, they are both invisible and exploited.
It’s important to fight for better conditions for independent and freelance workers. That’s why the campaign to build the European Freelancers’ Movement is so critical. I’ve donated, have you?