BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The pandemic has forced us all to become more creative and for some of us, it's changed the way we work. More people are taking their careers into their own hands and turning to freelance work.
“With people spending more time at home, unfortunately some people losing their jobs, it was a time to start the passion project, if there was something they were really good at,” said Marie Rachelle, Freelance coach from Hamburg.
Full-time freelance workers accounted for 36% of the workforce in the U.S. during the pandemic and half of the youngest adults in the workforce did freelance work in the last year, according to Upwork.com.
A lot of those freelancers are here in Buffalo and Rachelle is hosting Buffalo's third annual Freelance Business Week to give people the tools they need to work for themselves.
“It’s very similar to a Ted Talk, we have over 30 speakers, we have sessions running Monday through Friday,” said Rachelle.
Things will kick off when Mayor Byron Brown makes the official proclamation making April 19-23 officially Freelance Business Week in Buffalo.
"The return of Freelance Business Week to Buffalo is a sign of our return to a more normalized economy and is a further demonstration of the enterprising spirit that is critical to Buffalo's success," said Mayor Brown.
This year's theme is "The Future of Freelance - Intention. Impact. Purpose." Throughout the week there will be virtual and in person session on things like cryptocurrency, customer management, banking, legal and more.
"We have a future of freelance panel on Wednesday, it’s actually all the organizers from all the cities across the country,” said Rachelle.
Other participating cities are Austin, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Tampa and Miami.
“It’s almost like the Hunger Games! We have a representative from each city," said Rachelle.
Last year’s Freelance Business Week was completely virtual, but still had a great turnout here in WNY.
"Last year we had more than double any of the other cities, which was really cool, I would love to keep that trend," said Rachelle.
You can register now for free, click here. Some sessions are free, some come at a cost, but for access to the entire week, tickets are $49. Anyone interested in business can attend.
“I’d recommend looking at the schedule and see what ones you’re interested in and grab a ticket, but I think it applies to anyone who’s in small business," said Rachelle.
In-person viewing locations include: