Freelance: taking on the solo journey

You’ve done your time at your corporate 9-5 job and now you’re ready for something new. You’re ready to be your own boss. Congrats!

Or, you’ve decided to take the freelance life right out of college. It’ll be tough and a lot of hard work with tons of experimenting and pitfalls but you can do it.

In Pofeldt’s recent article, she spoke on millions turning to freelance in the search of job security. Employers are choosing to outsource to freelancers compared to hiring people for traditional jobs.

Now, even though this is great news for freelancers everywhere, freelancing is challenging. It can be very rewarding but there are some major hurdles one must plow through first.

Freelancing will not provide a constant, big check overnight. It takes time to gain clientele and get your portfolio out there for employers to see.

The more time you put into it, the better. This is now your 40 to 50-hour workweek load. In the beginning, you won’t be getting paid the first few months you start because you are carving your name and creating your own content and look.

Firstly, freelance requires you to create your own brand.

Mily Caballero, fashion PR expert, offers advice on starting your freelancing career after graduation. (Mily Caballero)

Mily Caballero, fashion PR expert, offers advice on starting your freelancing career after graduation. (Mily Caballero)

Mily Caballero, fashion PR specialist and freelancer, said, “I didn’t get immediate clients when I first decided to do freelance. I had to make sure I was completely organized first. I designed my website, linked my portfolio to my new page, and got an accountant.”

After discussing how she got herself off her feet, Caballero talked about the importance of being prepared for doing freelance work. You need to have a plan of action.

“Make sure that you have money saved that and ideally, that you’ve lined up a client or two before you graduate or quit your corporate job. In order to land clients you need to network far in advance. Talk to everyone without any reservations. What do you have to lose?”

When it comes to booking clients during the beginning stage of your new career, you need to get word out that you are available for hire. You do this through your networking and online freelance forums such as   Krop, Australian Infront, and Coroflot.

She directed me to Ben Matthews’s article where he talks about the steps and advice for becoming a freelance consultant.

Secondly, there needs to be a balanced work-life schedule. You can get overwhelmed in the beginning stages of your freelance career by taking on many new clients since you’re so happy that work has finally kicked in. Be careful of this.

You need to create a schedule to separate work life from personal life. Suddenly your 9-5 original work hour is gone and it is up to you to create your own schedule. Whether that is working for clients in your pajamas on your couch or living abroad in Cancun watching the ocean from your window, like Navid Moazzez. The location is irrelevant but the schedule is essential.

Lastly, you are your own boss.

You can choose which clients to take on and when too much is too much. You no longer have to get every detail of a project approved by all of your supervisors; you make all of the final touches.

Freelancing is awesome and with the proper tools and experience, you can reach your full potential.


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