Far more journalists are now working freelance and instead of working for just one paper, they find themselves working with anyone from Barrons to the New York Times. I spoke to financial writer Dan Purjes on what life is like as a freelance journalist. Dan covers all aspects of Wall Street from asset investment, fund investment, he recently even wrote a report which featured as a main story for one of NYCs biggest publications. If you have any interest in being a journalist, you should be aware that freelance maybe your best route to doing so, I caught up with Dan in Rockwood to find out what his take is on this kind of life.
Something which Dan both loves and loathes is the inconsistency of what he does. Some months Dan can be full to the rafters with work which needs to be done, and other months he may be working on very little. Dan tells me that he is smart when work is good and banks a great deal of money into savings, so that when there are quiet months, he doesn’t need to panic about money coming in.
From the beginning of his life as a freelance journalist Dan tells me that he found it incredibly difficult to get work. The reason behind this is that publications and newspapers generally work with freelancers who they have a strong relationship with and who they know can deliver. This means that for any newbie coming into the game, it can be very difficult to break in to the industry. What Dan decided to do was bombard the newspapers with stories so that they could see exactly what he was capable of. Dan’s old high school principal Mr. Mctague played a key role in him landing his first jobs, and he has made sure to preserve those relations in order for future work to keep coming in.
Dan tells me that his favorite part of the job is the excitement of waking up and checking his inbox to see what stories he needs to get to work on. Whilst he admits that sometimes the stories are not exactly what he is looking for, there is still an air of excitement about landing a new job, and getting to work on a project.
One aspect of all freelance positions that many love is the level of freedom which you have and Dan is no different. Working from cafes, libraries, public spaces and of course, from home, has a great many advantages and this means for Dan, that he can better focus on writing his stories as opposed to when he is bound to an office. This freedom takes the pressure off commuting, it means that he can look after the kids when needed and most importantly he tells me that it makes him far less stressed than he used to be.
There you have it, freelance journalism is a great gig with many benefits.