Working freelance often can open up a variety of doors. Doors that allow you to grow in ways you probably thought were out of your reach, regardless of your position in your industry. Whether you’re a fresh graduate, 5 years in, 10 years in or an industry veteran, here are 5 reasons you should consider freelancing.
There’s a freelance gig for just about anything now a day. Whether you’re in social media, writing, design, web design of some king (UX, UI, development, branding, etc.), strategy, proof reading/editing, video editing or virtually anything else… You could likely do it freelance.
Yet often when students come out of university, they encounter a few different kinds of feelings. Feelings of joy, nervousness, fright, opportunity, intellectual superiority, intellectual inferiority and many, many others. And all of those thoughts and feelings are totally fair enough, given that you’ve just stepped out into one of the hardest periods of finding a job, let alone a career, in recent history.
You have every right to feel whichever way you do.
Still, regardless of your degree type or professional experience, many look past the opportunity to work for yourself. They believe they won’t be taken seriously, being so young and inexperienced. And they think they’ll be shunned for not going the direct route of getting a job straight off the bat.
I’ll be the first to say that experience is always helpful (obviously). Completing internships or gaining transferrable skills while at university is always the best way to go about it. Yet, university students are equipped with a set of skills and opportunities that they can use to gain employment, if only from themselves, once graduating.
So if you think that because you have only just graduated to the real world, you need to get a real job, you may be mistaken.
Well, I’m here to tell you that working freelance or as a consultant as a graduate isn’t so crazy after all.
There are countless apps and tools available on the internet
A great reason not to go freelance would be because you don’t have all the skills or tools to succeed. Well, I’m here to say that you do.
Regardless of the project you’re working on, there will be an app or tool to make it easier. Sure, you might have to pay for the download from time-to-time, but they’ll get used. It’s easy to find the right software to use and it’s easy to watch YouTube tutorials on how to use them.
Breadth of learning
Working freelance, regardless if you’re a graduate or a seasoned industry veteran provides certain advantages. One very clear advantage is that you will get exposed to sides of the industry, you might otherwise not get exposed to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re specialty is social media, writing, design, web design of some kind (UX, UI, development, branding, etc.), strategy, proof reading/editing, video editing. If you do your specialty, you’ll also get exposed to other areas. You’ll gain a greater understanding for most other areas of your business, from admin, to the adobe suite, to Google AdWords.
Essentially, you WILL learn more and have a greater breadth of knowledge than those who’re working for big companies.
Fills in time while you look for a real job OR as a side-hustle
Freelancing can allow time off, to be time well spent. You’re spending your free time learning about your industry, growing and giving yourself that needed edge over any other new graduate. It can be done while you work part-time as a barista and while you’re looking for your next big break.
Basically, it’s downtime spent well.
“Don’t spend all Saturday watching House of Cards… Work on your side hustle” Gary Vee
Even with limited experience, it is very possible to make decent-to-great money working freelance, even as a graduate or student. You don’t have to have worked in the industry, however limited (although any experience is beneficial).
Take Ross Simmonds, a freelancer and now entrepreneur. He was working in advertising for a limited time, but then handed in his notice and got started on the freelance path. It may have been scary, but he managed to make very good money from it, despite being you (you see, this is no longer an excuse).
Whether you’re looking for some added money from your side hustle, or as your sole income… If done well, freelancing can be a profitable gig.
Companies value a fresh perspective
There are certain inherent advantages to being a student. Namely that you have a new and exciting way of thinking.
Maybe not every company wants this, because they may be such in their ways. However, you’ll find that many love having young blood in their office, spurring new thoughts and ideas.
So a new and fresh way of thinking is great for a brand. If you can’t find work (it’s okay if you can’t), then freelance might be a great way to keep your brain active, in the industry and working hard and being creative. The companies you approach will likely appreciate you more because you are fresh.
Don’t be scared and think you’re not good enough. Few people ever think they’re good enough for anything, before they start. It’s only when you start, that you realise you’re capable.
I’ve said this before, but I’m not motivational speaker, nor do I play to be! But as a graduate or even still a student, you have a great foundation of knowledge. If you’re are willing to put time and effort in, you should be able to gain much more than just money whilst freelancing. So as long as you’re willing to keep working hard, learning, growing, networking, meeting new people and businesses, you’ll be fine.
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