Italian freelancers describe why they are independent

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For the 9th edition of Freelance Voices, we thank Freelance Network Italia, a young and growing freelance community in Italy. Barbara Reverberi, organizer and co-founder of the network, and mentor to many members of Freelance Network Italia, describes the community as follows: “We are a group of professional freelancers based in Italy. Since 2017, we have been meeting and working together to spread the freelance culture and ensure a confident and competent base.” As Reverberi implies, it’s important to remember that freelancing is still an emerging and often vulnerable career choice in many parts of the developed and developing world. For Reverberi and his colleagues in Italy, two challenges are paramount: first, how to educate organizations to welcome and embrace the unique value and benefits of freelancers and flexible, mixed workforces. And second, how to create a community of freelancers that fosters true collaboration and mutual benefit.

Here are the voices of Italian freelancers – most of whom are in the field of communications as freelance journalists, editors, storytellers or bloggers – describing the benefits and challenges of freelance life in Italy:

Simonetta Pozzi, consultant and trainer. Freelancing is a state of mind for me. After a long experience in Italian companies, I chose freelance and specialized in VR and AR storytelling. I am co-founder of Freelance Network Italia. The challenges are many (customers, staying up to date, payments, loneliness), but we overcome them if we build an effective network. The future will be bright if we cooperate.

Lucia Cesaro, Editor. Being independent is like being an acrobat. Every day is a new adventure that you have to live juggling with enthusiasm and a thousand uncertainties. It’s exhilarating, but also scary at the same time. He is constantly involved. What I like the most is the freedom to create my own working days.

Morena Menegatti, journalist. I have been a freelance journalist since 1989 with a short break of 3-4 years as an employee. To be completely honest, it wasn’t a choice and like many freelancers, I struggled to do it the best I could. But in the end, I learned some good lessons. First, you can’t rest on your laurels, and you feel the urgency to train yourself, and to know all the topics related to the clients you approach. You learn skills that make you more open-minded and competent, which in turn makes you stronger. Although you may lose customers, you ultimately don’t feel dependent on them. And the biggest lesson I’ve learned: freelancers aren’t alone. By collaborating with other professionals, you really understand the meaning of the word “team”.

Simona Mapelli, Strategist and Marketing Specialist. Becoming independent gave me a great opportunity to take the leap in my career. I created my own style and now I am definitely able to add value to the projects and companies I work with through previous experience and a new vision.

Cristina Maccarrone, journalist and SEO copywriter. Thinking about my work as a freelancer, the flexibility is the best part of it. I am able to work when I feel like it and stop if I don’t feel well. And it allows me to pursue my passions. Choosing my clients and possibly leaving them is a challenge, going through a reasoned selection of the clients with whom I wish to collaborate. In the future, I aspire to increase the time spent with people, reducing the number of hours spent on the PC.

Donata Mazza, blogger and event creator. Being a freelancer is a complex and not always successful choice. I spent many years working in various companies and advertising agencies. Becoming a freelancer was a compulsory choice but now I wouldn’t change it for the freedom it gives me. I choose the clients and the projects to work on and I have free time for me and my family: it is priceless.

Simona Martini, writer and communication trainer. I love the freedom to choose what projects to work on and where. I had to learn administration and make my home environment more friendly. I manage my time (it’s often tricky) and I have more space to learn, network and grow beyond my comfort zone.

Raffaella Ronchetta, Communications Advisor. Communication is relationship-based, and I build relationships. Freelancing is exciting: it allows me to work on different projects and find different clients, companies and stories. Variety is stimulating but also tiring. It’s also difficult to deal with the lack of fixed schedules and the struggle to have my value perceived, sometimes. For my future, I hope to have two or three big clients to work with.

Lorena Politi, journalist. I am a freelance journalist and I did not see myself in any other role. Freedom is essential for me, and in addition, my health problems do not allow me to adapt to rigid work schedules. Being a freelancer allows me to go at my own pace when my body isn’t cooperating. The main disadvantage is an income that often does not correspond to the role, but I can always adjust my work to my creativity.

Monica Incerti, digital marketing consultant. I have been working freelance since January 2021, dealing with consulting and project management in digital marketing. And yes, I am a fan of freelance jobs. After working hard for years in a company and in a communication agency, what excites me now is the very fact of being a “free professional”. Freedom doesn’t mean working less but it’s a better life: building relationships, choosing who to work with, cultivating ideas, breathing life into private life, learning from other professionals are just some of the pros independent work. Believing in my personal ability to succeed alone is not easy; this is what I find difficult but also the reason that encourages me to continue working on myself.

Gabriele Politi, author and podcaster. Being a Freelancer in Italy means a lot of things today: managing your time, balancing work and family, connecting with clients, prospects and other freelancers, and disruptive new training and skills opportunities. Being independent in Italy also means a “stormy sea” of laws, rules and bureaucracy that still impose their weight and represent a huge cost in money and time.

Veruska Motta, Public Relations Specialist. I left my CDI 8 years ago and chose to work as a freelancer in two exciting and complex sectors: publishing and culture. Of course, roadblocks such as non-paying customers, stalled projects, skipped quotes, looming taxes, and limited protections exist, along with moments of overwhelming commitment and mounting stress. But choosing who or for whom to work with, telling stories related to sectors representative of my passions and the satisfaction felt for successful events, certainly overcome all the critical issues.

Greta La Rocca, public relations professional. Freedom is one of the benefits of being a freelancer. It helps you grow and become a responsible professional – you learn to manage your time, people and yourself. Being independent is a blessing. In my future, I see more networking, alongside other freelancers, each with their own skills to achieve better results for us and for our clients.

Long live the revolution!

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