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Is 'freelancing' a job?


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More and more, on the forum (and just all over the internet) you will see people call themselves professional freelancers. Sometimes, they won't even say what they do exactly, they just talk about freelancing being their job/profession. 

I've always treated the word 'freelancing' more of a way of working - but not a job in itself. If someone wear to ask me what I do, I would say 'I'm a writer, I do freelance work', not 'I'm a freelancer' just in itself. I could be a writer working for a company (or a paper, a theatre, etc.) but instead I do freelance work. I

I'm just curious about how other people see the word itself. Would you call yourself - just - a freelancer? Or would you say 'I'm a writer/designer/etc'?


(Monday morning musings as I wait for lunch haha. Been a slow morning!) But I'm genuinely curious.) 


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As you have rightly stated though

I would love to add

Most people don't understand this concept and most people in the freelancing sector of business are ignorant and are Non educated of which freelancing role they would or should play.

Most would claim they are freelancers but can't identify a business industry they belong to

Most just needs enlightenment 

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Hmmm, good question.
When people ask me what I do, this is my usual answer:

"I'm an English teacher, and also an illustrator and translator."
I have also also said "I'm an English teacher, and also work as a freelance illustrator and translator on the side."

Whether I throw in the word "freelance" or not is a random choice, but I'm sure I've never used the word "freelancer"only when describing my work.
As @katakatica said, for me it's a WAY of working, not a job title.
Having that said though, if someone told me that they were "freelancers" I won't think much of it...

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22 hours ago, katakatica said:

Would you call yourself - just - a freelancer? Or would you say 'I'm a writer/designer/etc'?

Euuu, I never start with “I’m a freelancer”, that’s not important for me. I always start with “I’m calligrapher, designer bla bla” 

“freelancer” for me it’s more about working hours and implying  that they are highly irregular and one day I might be by the pool during lunch and other week I’m waking up at 6am and finishing at midnight with work on weekend 

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"Freelancing" is not a job, but a useful part of your reply when I ask what you're doing.

If you tell me "I'm a roofer", that's great, if you tell me "I'm a freelance roofer", that's even better, especially in my region lately, because if I ask nicely, and maybe pay in advance, I have a chance that you'll come and fix my roof on a Saturday, while if you pass me your employer's calling card, chances are that I'll hear "Sorry, we can't take on new customers. Please try again in 2023." 😉

I consider "I'm a freelance (whatever)" the most sensible/useful/informative reply, where (whatever) is the most important bit of info but "freelance" is also a very important bit of info for various reasons.

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“A professional freelancer” sounds like something a most insufferable individual at any party would say while wearing a silly scarf. 

I held my last corporate position in 2015 and back then, at least in advertising circles, they’d call what I am “a visual designer”. The term was new back then and I think it didn’t stick. It’s still in my dribbble profile exposing me for a geriatric millennial that I am.

Maybe it’s one of those things. Let us come up with something more pretentious/serious/descriptive, see if it does anything for the business (I doubt it will). 

The ability to freelance full-time is something one deserves a pat on the back for. It’s not for everyone. There is a statement behind it. “I have enough skills and self-discipline to feed myself.” 

It also signals that the person’s availability is flexible which is good, it makes one more approachable. I’ve been looking for a writer to collaborate with recently and I’ve only selected “freelance writers” from the list because I know what “freelancing a little bit on the side” means. It usually means “I’ll ghost you the second my corporate overlord calls for an overtime”. 

Like others have said, it’s letting clients know how you work not what you do necessarily. Hence, not a job, not a profession. I just say that I am a designer. It’s vague but my field of expertise is pretty broad so people are free to inquire. 

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"Professional freelancer" doesn't really describe anything of what the person actually does 🤷‍♂️ but I think there IS a stereotypical "freelancer" specifically on the Fiverr platform. I think those familiar to the website and forum will already know the types of services they offer. 😅

Image background removal, logo design, SEO optimization, video transcription, and proofreading all in one! 🙄 They also tout being "experts" and "professionals" while having a profile and gigs with a deluge of spelling and grammatical errors. 😒

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