A Freelancer's Guide To Job Hunting

Regardless of what freelance industry the reader is in, this article provides helpful tips for them to acquire work and make freelancing a career.

The job of a freelancer is unlike any other. The calculated and scheduled life you may have once had takes a back seat and instead your work hours will be dependent on the jobs you get. Freelancing has its shares of woes - including the relentless hours you put in just to make enough money to get by. But there are many stories of successful freelancers who make a decent income and even earn six figure salaries. With hard work and persistence you too can have a fulfilling career as a freelancer.

Be the Expert You Are (or Want to Be)

Freelancing is all about making a career out of something that you not only love doing but are also good at. Honing your skills and talent is a definite must in the freelance business. It is important to be educated and know as much as you can about your field whatever it may be. Read books, go to conventions, and join organizations tailored to your field. Becoming an expert in your desired field is the first step that will give you that slight advantage over others who may be new to the industry.

You should have a deep understanding of the market or businesses you plan on freelancing or consulting for. Find out what it is they are looking for. What strengths do you have that they can benefit from? And remember, a business will only hire outside workers to do jobs or fix problems they can not do themselves.

You are Your Business

Designating a place in your house or apartment to be your office is essential. In the freelancing business, the job searching never ends. Have sources available to you that can aid you in your job search such as access to the internet, trade books, magazines, and newspapers.

Constantly keep your eyes and ears open to possible projects. Do not be surprised if you end up spending a lot of time on the internet. Search engines and websites are great sources that have the latest job postings. Spend a few bucks on newspapers and industry magazines which usually have specific sections for freelancing and work opportunities. You have to be willing to take the time and do the research needed in finding jobs that are tailored to your line of work. The jobs are there for the taking - you just need to find them.

Network and Sell Yourself

You have to sell yourself, your work and your knowledge. No one else is going to market you. You have to be willing to be very vulnerable in seeking out jobs, writing outlines, proposals or queries, and sending out your resume to as many prospects as possible. The more territory you cover, the more chances you will have in landing a job.

More likely than not people will hire individuals they know over others whose work they are unfamiliar with. Go to conferences and build a network team of colleagues and mentors. Those who have been successful in your freelancing career field will always have advice. Plus, they can be a great asset in referring you to potential employers.

Remember to always have plenty of resumes and business cards handy with you at all times. You never know who you might bump into that might actually need your expertise.

Have Realistic Expectations

It can be really easy to quit freelancing if your financial means are not met. Find out how much freelancers make in your field and from there create a realistic budget on how much you expect to earn. This insight can lessen your anxiety on trying to make money so you can focus on acquiring more gigs.

When starting out, make sure you either have additional financial assistance or some extra cash in the bank because in the freelancing world, you never know how long it will take for you to get that check. Do not expect to automatically make a lot of money in the beginning of your career. Some companies may offer to pay cash or a check up front while others have an undetermined turnaround time.

If you have extensive experience or a degree in your field, you can consider setting your own rate based on how much you think your work is worth. This is another reason why being an expert in your field is very important. Contractors will hire and pay more to those whom they feel know what they are doing.

Perseverance is a Must

Successful people are not born, they are made. In any aspect of your life, especially your career, the need to continue through setbacks and not give up on your goals is essential. Some think that starting out is the hardest aspect of freelancing, but the truth is that the key to being successful is perseverance.

Rejection and failure are necessary evils in the freelancing business. In this tough solitary business the only person held responsible for your own success is you. Sometimes your success is determined in how you handle your failures.

© High Speed Ventures 2011