The Freelancers Union has a number of jobs that are directly aimed at new college grads. All of the necessary information is located on their Jobs page.

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Talking about the non-profit organization that we’re featuring today provides an interesting dilemma for me. I was going to introduce them by asking you to imagine yourself in the shoes of someone like me (an entrepreneur who recently graduated college), but I realized that those who are looking for a job may not fully relate. That’s the weird thing about taking an entry-level job at the Freelancers Union. You won’t be a freelancer yourself, but you will be working to represent the “the needs of America’s independent workforce though advocacy, information, and service.”

The Struggles of a Freelancer

It’s not easy working for yourself. The hours are long, and the boss is usually a real jerk. All kidding aside, there are some serious challenges that the self-employed face.

Despite our contribution to America’s economy, we’re often left out of the social safety net. Most freelancers can’t access affordable insurance, are taxed more than traditional employees, and have limited access to protections such as unemployment insurance, retirement plans, and unpaid wage claims.

Sara Horowitz (a Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations grad like myself) decided that someone needed to stand up for all the freelancers. In 1995 the former labor lawyer founded Working Today as an advocacy organization for freelancers. From there, the organization “launched a Portable Benefits Network (PBN), to deliver benefits to independent workers in New York City.” Eventually the PBN outgrew its original mission, and was renamed the Freelancers Union, while Working Today remains a non-profit advocacy and research organization. The Freelancers Union is a four-time winner of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Awards, and is working hard to improve the lives of those who call themselves their boss. The Freelancers Union isn’t what we’d traditionally consider to be a union (since I majored in labor relations, I could go on and on about why this is different from a traditional union, but I’ll spare you), but it shares many of the same goals in seeking the interests of its members.

Non-Freelance Jobs at the Freelancers Union

The Freelancers Union has a number of jobs that are directly aimed at new college grads. All of the necessary information is located on their Jobs page. Current opportunities that appear to be entry-level include Data Analyst, Member Services Associate, and Member Services Administrative Assistant. If you’re entrepreneurially minded, but not quite ready to start calling yourself your employer, this might be a great place to start. You’ll have the opportunity to network with tons of entrepreneurs, and you’ll be learning all about the issues that freelancers and entrepreneurs face because of our country’s bias against the self-employed. The Freelancers Union is located in Brooklyn, NY, and you can apply for jobs with them by sending a cover letter and resume to the e-mail addresses listed below the jobs on their Jobs page.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

Have you considered freelancing after graduation? Would you consider joining the Freelancers Union?

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