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It's 'that time' of year again

02 Nov 00:00 By Lawrence Akers

Copy Of Lunch

Historically, this time of year is one of the busiest for the creative industry.

Preparations for Christmas and New Year are well underway, and in some cases reaching their


For freelancers, this is usually a bumper time of year full of long hours, fast-paced

environments, and no shortage of opportunity. The challenge with this time of year is that it is very difficult to

predict what November and December will be like from year to year. I’ve had some years where December has been

unusually quiet while others have seen me still filling jobs while I have my end-of-year work breakup lunch - literally!

I tell you now: nothing says delicious roast dinner with a side of ‘I need a finished artist for the Christmas break NOW’.

It is at this point of the year when it is worth reminding our professional freelancers about some core tips that are going

to make a difference to the end of their year, and the start of the next. These tips are going to be even more useful

for those who may be new to freelancing. The first is this; start putting aside a little bit extra now for the end of the year.

No one can predict what the end of the year will look like in terms of work opportunity. If we’re lucky, it will be busy

all the way up to the end of the year and potentially straight into the new year. If we’re unlucky, then we might be

seeing a few weeks where it is quiet but this is going to place quite the strain on your wallet.

With an increased cost in living and the world used to uncertainty, putting aside a little extra now can be the difference

between having a relaxing end-of-year break if no work comes through versus eating two-minute noodles for

your Christmas dinner. Even with the addition of a bonbon, that won’t feel festive at all.

The second tip is to take some time towards the end of the year to update your promotional materials, such as

your CV, folio and website. You’ve no doubt done a lot of work this year and now is a great time to consolidate that

and utilise it as showcasing your skills. Additionally, the industry is expecting more and more integrated skills

nowadays, especially with After Effects and Premier Pro, so ensuring that your CV and website highlights these

new skills is going to help secure work quickly in the new year.

The last point, and this really comes off the back of the previous one, is to take some time to up-skill. I can’t

begin to tell you how often I’m being asked for creatives with skills in After Effects and Premier Pro nowadays.

The challenge I’m finding is that creatives might have basic experience with it but are nervous about saying that

they know enough to be comfortable putting themselves forward. Meanwhile, clients are saying that they can’t

find anyone and they just need someone with a basic knowledge so that they can continue to learn on the job.

If it means taking a quick course or spending a day or two to get your head around these new technologies,

it will help to secure work quickly and easily in the new year.