Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

You're the Boss

Whether it's a long-term career plan or merely a "stopgap to produce income while they job hunt," the ACS Careers Blog's John Borchardt says self-employment can be challenging. Borchardt breaks down the pros and cons of freelancing, and notes that those who are self-employed "are constantly selling [their] problem-solving skills to prospective clients." As such, he adds that freelancers must be aware that they are "running a business," and that technical skills alone are not sufficient for running it well. Borchardt says it is "essential" to:

• have the organizational skills needed to develop and adhere to a business plan
• the interpersonal skills to market yourself to prospective clients and to work well with clients
• the writing and oral communication skills to market yourself to clients and report your results to them
• the business skills to price your time appropriately, bill clients and collect your fees from them

He adds that time-management skills and the ability to meet deadlines are necessities for any self-employed professional. The ability to multitask is also important. "Self-employed people cannot afford to work for clients without simultaneously soliciting new work from prospective clients," Borchardt says. On the plus side, though, working for oneself often means "opportunities to work on varied projects, many of them fascinating, and meeting many interesting people," he adds.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.