Museum Freelance conference takeaways

We've gathered together some of the delegates' takeaways in the evaluation from our Agents of Change conference. They are great tips and motivations for freelancers:

  1. We are agents of change. Let’s be brave and embody that change

  2. Be honest and authentic and be informed by your values and "what makes your heart beat faster" when taking on work

  3. Do not always give yourself a hard time, as a freelancer in can be hard to have balance and it's ok to switch off! Gave myself permission to have a really lazy morning this morning (after the conference and really busy week)

  4. Seek out the quiet

  5. What do I want to be today? Not, what do I want to do today?

  6. There are lots of fantastic freelancers out there, who I would love to collaborate with

  7. The importance of reflection about whether or not what I am doing is what I want to be doing

  8. Two words - values and care

  9. Freelancers offer different roles and ways of working to museums - flexibility and outside view

  10. That we may all be working on our own projects but we are in fact all in this together and a wonderful network of passionate freelancers exists

  11. Freelancers are really well placed to help inspire and drive change in the cultural sector

  12. The importance of sharing and learning with other freelancers

  13. The whole conference and the warm, sharing ethos it evoked has given me confidence in my trade. I am not the only one who makes mistakes, is juggling, sometimes works too much, sometimes too little, feels like an imposter etc!

  14. Developing personal brand for my freelance business

  15. Listening partnerships plus a general reminder about the social value of our work

  16. Ask yourself why you do what you do and factor that in to your work. Create a work/life balance. Be honest and really listen

  17. Check my insurance. Continue to ask why

  18. Connections with new people and recognition that most of us worry about the same things

  19. Caroline Newns' point about just making the approach and asking for a chance because the worst they can say is no

  20. Positive aspects of freelancing and openness of the speakers in talking about mistakes and how not to do things

  21. Self care was an overarching one for me - the listening partnership; top tips from the morning speakers relating to when you're just starting out as a freelancer; time on and time off; we can't just rely on people's passion

  22. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? There were good discussions about our role as outsiders going in and questioning clients and shaping things. It is something I've only really started to do in the last year or so, and so it was really reassuring to hear about others doing it - and the value of that to organisation

  23. I think another valuable take away was about self care - taking time out to listen and be listened to, to make the most of being freelance and of being in control of some things.

Written by Museum Freelance Network co-founder Christina Lister.