A not so uncommon form of career change is freelancing. You may decide to become your boss and work independently as a full-time freelancer, or you may use freelancing for testing out a new career before making a permanent change.
Freelancing gives you the freedom of not having to please your boss and your colleagues at the workplace, and instead ‘have it your way.’ But as every coin has two sides, freelancing presents its challenges. Chasing down contractors; inconsistency in the amount and frequency of payment; not being able to plan financially as easily as in the case of receiving a fixed monthly salary; managing the business side of freelancing and a couple of other factors might scare some people away from pursuing this form of making a living.
Using Freelancing For Launching A New Career
When you have a full-time job, but it doesn’t satisfy your financial needs, then freelancing as a side job might be a logical step to take. Apart from the obvious one – earning extra money – it does offer several other benefits, too.
- It helps you make valuable contacts and build your expert status. It could eventually even lead to gaining a better full-time position through one of your freelance clients, offering you a full-time job.
- Freelancing is an excellent way to test out new areas for employment. For example, if you are a pay-roll manager on your day job but you pursue web design and graphic design as a hobby, switching this hobby into an income stream as a freelance web designer will let you explore new career options. As a freelancer, you will be able to build a portfolio and make contacts in the industry. This might result in a career switch where you will be able to do what you enjoy while getting paid for it.
- Freelancing helps to develop entrepreneurial skills. It transforms how you see yourself. Suddenly, you are not just an employee but more like a 1-person-company who needs to cater to tasks that are usually related to businesses: marketing yourself, budgeting, honing your organizational and time management skills, and networking, to mention just the main things.
Starting a side business usually requires to choose a legal form for your business. Writing a business plan helps you to see what you could achieve and which steps should be taken to get there. Consult with a lawyer and an accountant before you decide on the legal form of your business to learn about your rights and responsibilities. Also, a good idea to find a mentor who can help you along the way.
Define The Services You Can Offer As A Freelancer.
Step 1: Browse job postings on freelance job boards, online freelance marketplaces, and see what type of works are offered.
Step 2: Assess your skills, talents, hobbies, qualifications, and previous work experiences.
Step 3: Match what you have to offer with what there is a demand for and make a list of potential fields where you could work as a freelancer, either temporarily or permanently.
Step 4: Set your rates.
Where To Find Freelance Assignments?
Here are a couple of popular freelancing marketplaces that attract a lot of contractors and freelancers.
- Elance: www.elance.com
- Guru: www.guru.com
- Freelance Writing: www.freelancewriting.com
- Writer’s Market: www.writersmarket.com
- ScriptLance: www.scriptlance.com
- vWorker: www.vworker.com
Other ways of finding freelance work are to browse the jobs section on Craig’s List or going through the classifieds in your local area.