First 30 Days Blog

08 jan

How Freelancers Can Make Careers of Their Work

JennaSmithAs a freelancer, I’m always thinking about other options: what’s next, how I can gain more work, how can I can be more competitive. If you’ve ever relied on freelance work as your primary means of wages, you know what I’m talking about.

Although not ideal for some, freelancing does give you freedom to work when you want, however long you want, wherever you’d like to work. However, the best freelancers rarely stay in this line of work; sooner or later, you’re going to want to find career work that’s stable and reliable.

Here are some great ways to start:

1. Additional Schooling

While there aren’t many schools that offer courses in “freelancing,” many universities offer programs that directly help freelancers looking into turning their “side gigs” into a fully-fledged career. I have a friend who also does freelance work in Pennsylvania; his day job is in marketing, but a few years ago he decided he wanted to make his graphic design freelance work his full-time job without having to completely move states to a more high-volume area. Eventually, my friend was able to find a Pennsylvania graduate school and get the additional schooling he needed to transition from freelance to entrepreneur. This is my proof that it’s possible.

2. Finding the Right University

Again, most “universities” don’t have programs that are overtly designed for freelancers. In some cases, taking the “schooling” route isn’t even the right option. For others, online universities and certification programs are best. I had another friend in San Francisco, who now manages several other freelance writers, begin his journey to owning his small-time freelance writing business through an online certification in business.

Online certifications can help in making you more competitive, but another excellent part of them is that they teach you about how to manage your own business and develop your brand. Most freelancers won’t learn these crucial steps until they take the time to get a degree or certification.

3. Finding Time to Do It All

Heck, most of us barely have time for sleep – how can we throw in going back to school in addition to our love life, our personal passions, and work? Well, it’s not easy. Sometimes, you have to give up something good to get something great.

What I mean is, you might have to cut some things out of your schedule for a time. For those of you who have the liberty to work less than 40 hours a week, you might need to cut back work hours to make time in the mornings and at night to fit in those extra hours. It’s possible, and many other freelancers before you have done it.

So how do you make the jump? Well, it’s not easy. But if you want to stop working in uncomfortable chairs at coffee shops and always worrying about whether or not you’ll find enough work, you should look into getting more training and experience. It’s not easy, but if it was, every freelancer would own their own company.

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Posted by Jenna Smith on January 8th, 2014 in Career, Finances, New Directions, Personal Stories | 0 comments

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