Nine out of 10 museum freelancers enjoy working within the cultural sector, finds survey

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22nd October 2020 17:58 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Nine out of 10 museum freelancers enjoy working within the cultural sector: A survey of museum freelancers has found that the overwhelming majority enjoy working within the cultural sector, with flexibility (80%), variety of work (63%), being their own boss (57%) and freedom (48%) being amongst the top reasons. 

The survey by Museum Freelance is the first in-depth survey of its kind on freelancing in the sector. 

It found that more flexibility around family life (47%), avoidance of office politics (46%), work/life balance (42%) and the fact you 'can work anywhere' (38%) were also reasons why museum freelancers like their work, along with 'fun and enjoyment' (34%) and improved mental health (32%).

Other reasons included no commute (31%), increased motivation (24%), increased earning potential (23%), more time for side projects (21%) and more time for hobbies (19%). 

Feeling valued

The research also found, however, that just 47% of self-employed museum workers feel valued for the work they undertake, with just over one in 10 (12%) agreeing that cultural sector organisations support freelancers - and one in five (21%) believing they are not paid an appropriate day rate.

Motivations for going freelance

Looking at the motivations for going freelance, 58% said the flexibility and freedom had prompted them to become self-employed, followed by work-life balance (42%). 

More than a quarter said they began freelancing  because they were not enjoying their job (27%), while just over a fifth saw a gap in the market for their skillset (21%). Just under a fifth (19%) said they had turned to self-employment due to being unable to find employed work, while 16% had been made redundant. 

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