Should Young People Be Taught About Freelancing in School?
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Do you remember your high school careers counsellor? While some of my friends got in-depth support to help them plan the next step of their life, my school had a less hands-on approach. Each student filled in a questionnaire and then a few weeks later, we received a booklet that outlined which career paths would work well for us.
I found my career profile recently while clearing out some old boxes and I was surprised at how outdated it had already become. It told me I could use my English skills to pursue a career as a writer, but it failed to mention anything outside of being a published author. Granted, it was created a few years ago, but why wasn’t the option of freelancing ever presented to me in school?
Freelancing has become increasingly popular with individuals who want to take control of their career and build something that is their own. It helps young people to explore the world and build a work-life balance that makes them truly happy. It can also help young people to learn new skills that they would never develop in a regular working environment. So, why aren’t schools giving students a crash course in freelancing as a career option?
Freelancing isn’t the obvious career choice, but it should be. It’s often seen as a rebellious career path, so only those who are bound to go against the grain will head down this route, but freelancing is about so much more than this.
I would like to see more schools teaching their students about the practicalities of freelancing. It’s very easy to make silly mistakes when freelancing, so it would be helpful if students could have an overview of the full picture so they can make an informed decision. Obviously, this wouldn’t be applicable to every student. For those pursuing a clear career path, like politics or medicine, freelancing is unlikely to be an option. However, freelancing can be a useful skill to have while studying as a way to make some extra money.
Freelancing classes in school could cover the basics, including self-employed taxes, time management and whether or not you need freelancer insurance or membership to professional bodies. While it might not increase freelancing uptake, it would at least give students the option to choose and make sure they don’t fall foul of many of the pitfalls of freelancing.