You don’t have to become a freelancer just because you can’t find a “real” job or career. In fact, being a freelancer is a career in itself. Below, we’ll talk about the current career path of a freelancer and why you might want to become one yourself.
The World Has Changed Toward Gig Economy
Due to rapid improvements in our digital age, it’s now easier than ever for workers to choose to work remotely, rather than finding work in an office place. Plus, many employers are taking the necessary steps towards hiring people virtually, rather than needing a location as a base of operations altogether. The big advantage for freelance workers is that they can have a much more flexible schedule, especially to make time for their families. Another advantage is that they are able to work from home or other remote locations around the work as a digital nomad. You can even save on gas and car expenses as you don’t need to drive to work.
Although there are advantages to becoming a freelancer, there are a few disadvantages. As a freelancer, there’s no employer commitment for your job, so no health plan, training programs, or pension. Plus, every day you live in the hope of not being taken off your job, since your employer can end the job at a moment’s notice. Also, there are no unions to rely on if your employer treats you poorly. Working from home definitely has advantages over working in an office, but there is a sense of isolation that you have to deal with. When you work from home as a freelancer, there’s also a chance of having poorer social skills and developing more fragile relationships with your employer and coworkers than in an office setting.
Though there are a ton of benefits to working as a freelancer, it is not the right move for all people. Those who believe they would thrive as a remote worker are certainly in luck. As the business world becomes more accepting of freelancers, more and more people are beginning to see it as a real possibility.
Take Ownership of Your Work Life
When you become a freelancer, you become your own boss. Instead of thinking of employers as bosses, assume their position as a client taking advantage of your skill set and knowledge. Use this thinking to market yourself better in your industry and assume a better sense of ownership to your work.
When you decide to become a freelancer, determine what you want to do to make a living. Turn your fun hobbies into a career and find what kind of skills and tools you need to enter your industry as a beginner. Below, are a few areas that you should look into for providing freelance work:
Marketing is a well-paying industry that always has a lot of freelance gigs up for grabs. Marketing jobs include project manager, marketing manager, and marketing coordinator and can average $40 to $50 an hour. These types of jobs focus on working with clients and creating brand strategies. One of the downsides of going into the marketing field is that you should have hands-on experience and some college education to land a successful job.
Being a freelancer, there are quite a lot of creative fields that you can break into, such as social media management, content writing, and graphic design, which are all good-paying as well. Plus, a lot of creative fields offer successful freelance careers that put you in locations around the country, such as accounting, web development, business project management, and insurance inspection. Going into a creative field may not seem like much, but it’s well worth the investment if you’re serious about being a freelancer.
Creating a Career Path as a Freelancer
At a regular nine to five office job, you start as a low-level employee until you get promoted to a better, high-paying position. Fortunately, it’s a pretty similar concept when you’re a freelancer. You start off pretty unrecognized, but once you start collecting clients and building your work portfolio, the easier it is to get recognized and hired by employers who offer high-paying gigs.
For example, if you want to become a freelance writer, you would start out working for a content mill for low pay. Then, you would work on creating your own online publications and building a writing portfolio. Once you share these with employers, you can break off from your content mill and start working for well-paying clients. Then, once you’re recognized online, you can become a name that people can look to and guest post on reputable websites.
The first step is to establish a personal brand. Think about the kind of work you want to create, your strengths, qualities, and what you stand for. Once you establish your personal brand, as a freelancer, you can be easily picked up for projects and gigs by employers depending on what kind of work they’re looking for.
Next, we highly recommend building a portfolio of work and samples you have to offer, as well as collecting references from past and current clients that appreciate your work. These two things are incredibly crucial when looking for future work. Clients will want to see samples of your work and references from past customers so they can be sure that you will deliver what you say you can.
Other things you should look into include professional associations, volunteer opportunities, and contributor opportunities. All of these can help you give yourself a name in your industry and make you easier to be recognized by industry leaders and employers. When you’re working on creating your career path as a freelancer, take some time to contemplate your future. What kind of skills or educational requirements may be needed to land a job a month or even a year from now? Do you need to speak any secondary languages? Doing this will help prepare yourself for a job down the line and make you look even better to a current employer, they may even offer you raise.
Working as a freelancer is no easy job, it requires a lot of time, effort, and skill to become a professional freelancer that gets high, stable pay. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to become a freelancer, it certainly has its advantages, such as being able to work from home or anywhere else in the world, having a more flexible schedule, and being able to work for a number of employers at once. Hopefully, with the help of our guide, you can better determine the career path as a freelancer. No one says it’s going to be easy, but it absolutely has its rewards. When you take the necessary steps to get yourself started, you will soon be on your way to becoming a professional freelancer.
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