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Freelance Converstations: Zaire Michel

What do you value about being a freelancer? 

I value the experiences, knowledge and information I get from the different jobs I work, and meeting like minded people. I value the flexibility of working as a freelancer.

Why have you chosen to freelance over having a full time, 9-5? 

Honestly I’ve worked many jobs and have either quit, been laid off or worked seasonal I had enough but knew this wasn’t the life for me. As cliche as it sounds freelance has chosen me, it was apart of the plan. It was introduced to me by my amazing friend, Zeldria. She booked me on my first BA gig with PeaPod in 2015. I loved it but it wasn’t consistent enough for me yet, so, I started networking and getting more companies under my belt to be able to have this as my full time career. Freelancing didn’t start becoming my full time career until 2017. Freelancing gives me freedom, I can work whenever I want, still go on auditions and books jobs in my career as a dancer, aspiring actress and model. Freelancers have it amazing!

Do you believe that the future is freelance? Why?

Yes I do believe freelance is the future! People are tired of working long hours to not be able to support themselves. Obviously this isn’t everyone but many people. Freelancers literally work two to twelve hours and sometimes make more than what “9-5”ers make in one paycheck. It’s been taboo for a while but this generation is very open minded and either creating their own businesses or realizing the perks freelancers get and now want to get involved.

What is the hardest part of being a freelancer? What's the best part? 

Honestly the hardest part for me in the beginning was getting into companies or getting booked for gigs. Many companies just like in any other field go to people they know versus hiring or booking new faces; even if they’re definitely qualified for the job. So that was saddening for a bit but that didn’t stop me. Other than that I don’t necessarily think there’s a hard part in being a freelancer if you got the hustle to keep looking for gigs when you’re denied, it’ll work in your favor. Trust!  

What's the best part? 

The best part for me is working! I’ve been doing this for almost five years now and I’ve worked some awesome events, concerts, guerrilla style work, pop-ups and worked in retail. I remember when I would apply for retail prior to freelancing and got denied because I didn’t have experience but knew I could do a great job. Once I entered freelancing.....BAM! These retailers I’ve worked with through POURED has given me nothing but love, respect and interesting feedback. They have helped me gain experience as well as meet great people to work with — for the most part. I continue to learn in these experiences and get to know more brands, how they’re run and what their values are. Through each opportunity it helps me become a better person, shopper and employee for the next job. I’m happy and grateful for all the opportunities I’ve ever gotten, I’m thankful for all the companies who trusted me to complete their vision and to be myself!

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