6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of The Freelance Life

Posted on February 6, 2017

This is a guest blog post written by Alaisha Key.

Finding a job post grad can be difficult. For millennials, it can be even harder to land that “dream job.” Not only are you competing in an overcrowded marketplace, but depending on your chosen field of study, there are less and less entry-level staff positions available for graduates. Many companies are hiring more and more freelancers. Why? These companies can outsource to staffing firms for lower costs and rely on these firms to supply them with a constant supply of applicants. But there’s no reason to be apprehensive. As a recent grad that has been freelancing in the publishing industry for years, there are many advantages to the freelance life. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid of freelancing.

  1. Perfect for trial and error. Unless you’re one of the lucky few that knows exactly what you want to do with your career, then freelance work can help you figure things out.  Being a freelance employee gives you the opportunity to learn about a company and determine if the job is what you really want. While working in a contract position, you also gain valuable skills that are guaranteed to be transferable such as basic administrative functions and the experience supporting executives.
  2. Keep your options open. One of the advantages to accepting a freelance position is that the position is temporary. While that may seem like it would be a disadvantage, it isn’t. There are opportunities that are only for a few weeks or months and jobs that have no set end date. There are positions that are part-time and full-time, and unlike employees that are locked into their set hours, freelancers often have the flexibility to set their hours and/or days of work with an employer. It is also easier to continue searching for a full-time position while freelancing and leave a position that is temporary.
  3. Expand your professional network. Freelancing gets you a foot in the door. It provides the perfect opportunity to acquire more contacts at a company. As a freelance employee, you have access to directories which list employee emails and phone numbers. That means you can expand your network by asking executives for informational meetings at the office or over coffee.
  4. Maintain a steady income. In the midst of looking for a permanent situation, freelance jobs can help you stay afloat. Many freelancers make more than the minimum wage. Not only does freelancing offer a way to provide a constant cash flow, but there are other benefits that are now offered to freelancers like health insurance and even 401Ks.
  5. Time to work on your brand. While you’re freelancing and deciding on what it is that you want to pursue, it’s the perfect time to build your personal brand. If you happen to be freelancing part-time, then you have the time to create a professional portfolio whether it be a website or a print compilation of your experiences. You can also add your current experience to your resume and get advice from HR managers and executives on what employers are looking for in an applicant.
  6. Land the dream job. There is always the possibility that you will land a freelance gig at your dream company. Many companies like to hire from within, and a recommendation from a supervisor could help you to obtain your dream job. Though, it will require patience. If you have a freelance position that does not have a definite end date, then you can likely ask for an evaluation after a year. Doing well at your job and making connections can help you go from freelancer to staffer.  

Photo by Anna McNaught. 

If you’re a recent grad navigating your first, second or third job make sure to read my book Welcome to the Real World. 

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