Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is freelancing the right fit?

“I’m sorry, but we’re looking for someone with more experience”
Never has a more frustrating phrase been uttered to someone trying to break into the workforce.  It’s no wonder new college grads may become disheartened in their job search, especially given the national unemployment rates and competing with more “experienced” professionals. 
If that’s the case for you, then perhaps it’s time you consider freelancing as an option.  While the benefits are significant, from conducting business in your PJs at home to working on some pretty neat projects for start-ups, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you stick it to “The Man.”

You can be a freelancer in anything
From computer/IT services to writing, mural art to engineering, there is a vast world of opportunities for people looking to apply their skills and gain experience working.  Social media, blogging and basic computer skills (think Microsoft Office and how to work a Mac) are all skills in high-demand now. 

Think small
While bigger companies do occasionally hire on freelancers or independent contractors, ongoing projects are much more common at small to medium sized companies.  In those situations, an excited grad’s passion could (and often does) trump experience.  And having less experience might mean you work with fewer clients, encouraging a more personalized, one-on-one relationship between yourself and your client. Just don’t expect a mentor in these instances.  Your employers are expecting a polished product from you.  They don’t want to guide you through each and every step of something you claimed to know how to do. 

Need a resume boost?
If you’re looking to buff up your resume and avoid a huge gap from the time you graduate to the time you do score your dream job, you can freelance and call yourself a “__________ Consultant”.  Once the word gets out about your awesome services provided at “Penny’s Pet Consulting,” you can list the projects you’ve worked on in the description section.  As an added bonus, if you have a good relationship with your clients, you can ask them for a LinkedIn recommendation or even list them as a reference.  
These tips are just a few reasons to consider freelancing as a job option.  Do your research and weigh your options to decide if freelancing is the best fit for you.