Freelance work is becoming incredibly popular thanks to the dawn of the internet and more and more people are looking to use their skills in this field. A good friend of mine Dan Purjes has been working as a freelance journalist for some years now and he absolutely loves it. Dan works for publications such as the New York Times and Barrons, writing a range of articles and even the odd main story. Dan’s work focusses primarily on Wall Street and finance, covering things like asset investment, fund investment, as well as a report or two on the likes of cryptocurrency and the world economy in general. I had a catch up with Dan in Rockwood, NYC to find out what motivated him to go freelance.

Weighing the Risks

Dan tells me that since the very beginning of his career he had wanted to go freelance, but was sensibly talked out of it by his mentor Mr. Mctague, owing to the riskiness of doing so. Dan tells me that this was the right move as in the beginning he didn’t have the skills, the contacts or the right relationships which would have meant that he received regular work. In fact Dan tells me that throughout his career, his goal was to work until he had all of these aspects lined up.


Some go freelance because the enjoy the freedom which it gives them in terms of their personal life, Dan was slightly different in his approach however. He tells me that he prefers the freedom which he has with regards to spending more time on the stories that he wants to write. When he has worked for papers in the past, he tells me that he was often restricted not only by time, but also in terms of his flexibility. Whilst Dan does of course enjoy the additional freedom which he has in his private life, this was not what motivated him to go freelance.


I feel stressed just listening to how Dan’s day used to pan out, especially with regards to commuting. Dan tells me that he couldn’t write to the best of his ability because he would start the day frustrated after a tricky commute, and then finish it with anxiety ahead of the journey home. Since Dan has gone freelance he tells me that he feels very relaxed and has a real desire to get the job done from the moment that he wakes up.


Another motivating factor of why Dan went freelance is that he is now able to work without having to place allegiance to the various political and social aspirations of a publication. Dan can pick and choose who he works with and on what stories, a freedom afforded to very few who are contracted by newspapers and magazines.

Overall Dan tells me that his decision to go freelance was the best that he has ever made, and that he is happier in his work than ever before.