Freelancing

All posts tagged Freelancing

Are You Fit to Freelance?

Published July 3, 2014 by Jennifer Elizabeth

college gradWhat they don’t tell you in college …

I studied professional writing in college. Lessons on writing resumes, cover letters, and business proposals were covered. However, nothing was ever mentioned about freelancing. (Well, if it was, I wasn’t paying attention.)

Technology has certainly advanced in the past ten years since I graduated. And with these advancements, opportunity sprung forth – opportunity to freelance as a student and as a graduate.

However, I now wonder:

“Are these opportunities being discussed within the walls of the advanced education systems?”

My guess is no.

In a crap economy  (yes, I still say it’s crap even though reports predicted otherwise), college grads are emerging from their “me” centered bubbles with high hopes. They expect to find a job in their field, and one that pays well.

Ha.

This is not always the case. And when it is, those grads are “the lucky ones.”And we all wish that was the reality for all grads. If it were only that easy …

Where I come from, college grads are lucky to find a job that pays more than minimum wage.

Unless they’re willing to move.

Most are stuck with minimum wage jobs. And if they’re lucky, they’ll be hired despite being a now overeducated applicant.

However, there are money-making opportunities right at their fingertips, literally. But, you have to think outside the “college box.”

Money-making opportunities at your fingertips

Freelancing websites allow users to search for field related work. And the work can be done while sitting naked on your own couch. (I don’t recommend sitting naked on a parent’s couch, however, if said grad still lives at home.)

Sites like oDesk provide free user registration. Once an account is created a user can then search job listings by category and go from there. However, if said user is not quite ready to jump into the freelancing pool, and he or she prefers to first get their feet wet, I suggest trying Fiverr.com.

Again, registration is free on Fiverr and one can opt to participate as little or as often as desired. Fiverr allows users to search gigs and buyer requests. The easiest gigs are posting reviews, such as product, book, and site reviews. And while the money isn’t a lot, it does eventually add  up. Also, payments can be sent directly to a PayPal account.

Simple. Fast. Perfect.

However, there is a downside to freelancing.

When freelancing, you are not exposed to actual human beings. Therefore, you are alone. You MUST motivate yourself. If you have difficulties with distractions (i.e. Internet browsing, social media sites, online shopping, etc.), then you may have a hard time succeeding as a freelancer.

Why is Jen writing this blog?

I’ll tell you why. Over seven years ago I was an expecting mom with a college English degree. I wanted to work from home, be my own boss, and daycare was out of the question. So, I tried my best to think “outside the box.”

First, I thought I could start my own resume writing service.

Yeah, that didn’t work. I knew nothing about website development and that’s where I thought my business would generate the most customers.

Then, I bought into Mary Kay Cosmetics. I learned I was a terrible sales person. But I LOVED the makeup!

Next, I dabbled in candle making. Too much mess. And good wax is expensive.

So, I then joined a candle selling business (like that of Mary Kay). Apparently I hadn’t learned my lesson the first time. Ha. However, I was lucky because I sold those candles for a year. They were THAT good. Good candles sell themselves. But, I had to leave my home and my kids in order to sell. So in the long run, it wasn’t for me.

Finally, I started my own book blog and decided I was going to write, even if I wasn’t being paid to do so. And as a result of that decision, I broke into freelancing, by accident.

Two years ago I was given an opportunity to edit and I snatched that baby right up (all because someone noticed I was a writer),

Thank God.

I did everything I possibly could to ensure my client was happy with my work. I went nearly two years with less than 5 days off. I worked all the time. And along the way I met some wonderful people and fellow freelancers. Doors opened. Opportunities came my way.

And finally, one day, I had a choice. I had several opportunities floating in my inbox. I chose the one best fit for me. There’s nothing better than having a choice.

The lesson

Think outside the box. If you’re working a “less than desirable” job, do something on the side. Do anything. Search for work. Create your own work and talk about it. That’s what I did. And one day, it finally got me somewhere.

One day, it may get you somewhere as well.

Peace.

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The Beauty and the Beast that is #Freelancing

Published February 9, 2013 by Jennifer Elizabeth

My dream is to get published. Like many writers, I want to see my name on the cover of a book. I want to sit at a table inside a bookstore and greet the beautiful faces of those who read my masterpiece.

However, right now I just need to pay the bills.

Right before I started working as a freelancer, I had embraced a new beginning as a blogger and aspiring author. I had ideas for my YA book floating all over the place. I had also started writing a children’s book series. I was excited and I was connecting with so many other aspiring writers and published authors.

And then, I became ‘working mom’. I discovered that freelancing was wonderful in that I could work whenever I wanted; however, I also discovered that I could pretty much work 24/7 because there was always something to do.

I started to work as a freelance editor last July. I was able to quit my part-time job that consistently called me off or only scheduled me for only one or two hours a week. Best of all, I was able to work from home,  save money on gas, and not leave my kids.

I continue to feel the worth I bring to the company. I enjoy seeing the success my work brings and the connections it builds. I know that my devotion is helping another succeed.

This is the beauty that is freelancing.

However, as a freelancer, you can pretty much be “on call” 24/7, depending on who you work for–and if you’re needed, you have to just suck it up and do it.

I often find myself getting lost in my work. Each day I am able to get my daily stuff done, but I also know I can always do more, work ahead, etc.

There is ALWAYS something you can be working on when you are a freelancer.

Since I started in July, I have had two days off–both due to illness. I work seven days a week. I answer emails related to my job all day long. But I don’t hate it.

And now, seven months in, I am desperately missing the goals I was pursuing back in July. I am doing everything I can to find the time to finish what I started and catch my dreams. I know they are only a short distance away…I just need to find the balance.

When you freelance, there is no end in sight.

This is the beast that is freelancing.

If you are a freelancer, what are the biggest obstacles that you face?

…as always, thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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