For many new graduates who are looking to get into the workforce but are still waiting on getting a source of income, freelancing can be a good way to provide for one’s basic needs while staying in the job market. Not only can freelance jobs provide much-needed income, but they can also help you keep your skills up to date and stay visible to potential employers. I am a new graduate who is looking for work in a saturated economy. Here are some of the things that I have learned about freelancing in the past few months, which I am utilizing to make enough money for life’s necessities.
Find reputable employers
The freelance world is full of employers who are a little bit shady. There are a number of things you should avoid when trying to land a freelance gig. The first one is jobs that consist mostly of ripping off another site’s design or content. These are unlikely to pay very well, as they almost always go to the lowest bidder. Try to find employers who are willing to communicate, and who want to work out a project proposal before you get started.
Take some easy jobs early on
It’s a good idea to take some easy jobs early on when getting started. This will provide a small amount of money fairly quickly, help boost your ratings, and allow you to determine how much work to take on. Even though you can sit at your computer, and it seems like a relaxing way to work, it can be even more stressful than a traditional job. You have to be ready to take on offers and work with employers, work on real projects, as well as constantly look for more work. Looking for work is commonly regarded as being a lot more stressful than actually working a job.
Focus on what you’re good at, but don’t discount the learning experience
Try to focus on tasks that you specialize in. Most employers don’t really expect your work to be a learning exercise, and will have little patience for someone who doesn’t know their stuff. Jobs that require a lot of in-depth knowledge of a particular field will likely pay much better. However, if you are a decently fast learner and there is a fairly slow-paced project available, you can use the opportunity to expand your knowledge. It likely won’t pay as well, but you will be ready for future projects.
Don’t drown in tasks
If you see many $1000+ projects available, don’t just take them all on in the same time. Carefully examine what the project requirements and timelines are. If the job is mainly a support role, and does not involve much solo development, you might want to take on extra tasks. However, if it mainly involves programming, research, or writing, it may cost you more actual time. It’s important to consider the time you spend at a traditional job if you are employed. Additionally, if at-home obligations are the reason you are considering freelancing, don’t overload yourself.
A lot goes into becoming successful with freelancing. Making sure that you don’t fall for scams, building up your rating, and building job experience are all important parts in advancing your earning potential. Good time management practices are also required, much more so than for traditional jobs.