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Interview | 27 Apr 2015

Coline Donon: Freelancing

Posted in Freelancer, Freelancer's stories, Interview,

I am a European Public Affairs expert. I have 10 years experience in European Public affairs. My main areas of expertise are Food and Agricultural products, Consumer policy, Product Safety, and Internal Market.

My skills range from monitoring and analyzing specific issues, supporting projects and advocacy campaigns, organising events to training on European affairs.

I started my career as an EU Public Affairs Adviser at Carrefour. We were a small team of 4 at our best and sometimes just me! I then worked as a senior consultant in Havas, I was the person in charge of 4 client’s accounts and a team of 4 juniors. I also experienced working for a European trade association during a traineeship of 6 months.

Why did you get into freelancing?

I was headhunted to work for GS1, my main client, and the timing was right as I was just about to have a baby and was looking for new and exciting challenges.

How do you manage your freelance career and personal life?

At the moment it is easy as I am working 5 half days a week for my client. I told my client that I will be flexible if they are. I am always available on my mobile for emergencies if I am not in the office and because of this they are happy to be flexible. My partner is also a great support at home.

How has freelancing enabled you to follow other passions?

Public affairs is one of my great passions and freelancing enables me to work on projects that I truly find interesting and rewarding. It also enables me to have time for my family and other interests.

What challenges have you faced?

I faced some challenges working out the time slots for when I would work for my client. However because I was willing to be flexible about being available on my mobile when I was not at work they were in turn flexible about when I was in the office.

What advice would you give to other freelancers?

If you want to be happy freelancing my advice would be to get one big client that you can always rely on to pay you every month. This will mean you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of freelancing without feeling the financial pressure.

By Coline Donon