Each year, there are initiatives and campaigns to help highlight the contribution that freelancers (like me) make to our economy and society, and also the realities and challenges we face in being overlooked in government business policy (including being taxed at higher rates than other types of employees).
One such initiative is European Freelancers Week, which each year stages a week (and 2 weekends) of events, gatherings, and conversations across Europe.
This year, part of its programme was an on-line conversation hosted by Freelance Heroes, and I found that my calendar wasn't demanding that I be delivering a workshop or meeting with a client at the time, so took the opportunity to 'click in'.
Now, my intention of doing this was to listen in to others' experiences, insights, and ideas, as part of the wider CPD framework I've designed for myself over the last 16 years - helping me better reflect on my own thoughts and practices.
But as the conversation progressed, one of the key participants had to offer apologies and leave early, and the host of the call spotted I was watching along and press-ganged me into joining the panel - with no intention to have been an active part of any of the EFweek2021 events this year, I hadn't given any thought to what I might contribute or argue...
Watching the call back, I realise that my unscripted and spontaneous offerings (which saw me talking about squeaky bum moments, swearing live, and the importance of bread), may not have been what people might have expected to be hearing about - but in the spirit of EFweek2021 being about allowing us to all share our voices with each other in mutual encouragement and support, it's hopefully added something to the mix that enriched the overall experience?