How Freelancing Can Help Your Job Search
I wrote this article nearly two years ago on LinkedIn, and since it’s getting some attention recently I thought I’d share it here. I hope you enjoy!
I’ll be honest. As of 5 months ago, I was basically useless to hire.
In every job description I saw “must write press releases” or “social media experience desired”. I began to have cold sweats and nervous twitches because I had never run a Twitter page in my life.
What happened? I paid attention in school, and even made Dean’s List three times! How could I be so behind? That degree that came in the mail weeks later felt meaningless to me.
A few months after I graduated I stumbled into Freelance writing on Upwork. I wrote for one client, then two, then three, until suddenly I had a good sized network going. I looked at my Desktop and saw a bunch of word documents.
I applied for anything and everything. Web copy? You got it. Product Reviews? I’ll do them! Social Media Management? BRING IT. Did it matter that I had no experience? NOPE — and here’s why: I already had all the skills I needed in the first place.
It turns out my dusty old degree actually did teach me something. As I conversed with clients about marketing I found myself regurgitating concepts I learned in class at Messiah College. Freelancing can be very valuable, and here’s a few reasons why:
1. You Get Experience
5 months ago I had no experience in social media, copywriting, or blogging/SEO.
Now I do.
I originally spent days in “The Thinker” pose (not really) thinking about how I could get experience when I had none. How could I get hired as a copywriter when I’d never been one? Freelancing.
Problem solved. Take that society.
2. You Learn New Topics
I’m not even talking about social media or copywriting; I’m talking about everything. I recently wrote a white paper on the e-book industry. Now I can tell you what the publishing market looks like in Germany.
I recently wrote about data management systems. Originally I thought I’d fall asleep half-way through writing it, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! You naturally get to learn about a variety of unrelated topics in freelancing, which is pretty cool.
Because I mostly write about business topics, I received a new perspective on marketing as a whole, and learned current trends in my industry. Now I can feel comfortable walking into my next job interview.
3. It Shows Initiative
It’s really cool to be able to say I’ve worked with clients on my own. It shows maturity, capability, and initiative. Now, I don’t know exactly how mature I really am, seeing how I still watch Spongebob every now and then, but for YOU, freelancing speaks on a resume.
I don’t mean to act like some expert, but it would be a lie to say freelancing hasn’t helped me get experience I wouldn’t have otherwise received. That’s what makes it so valuable in my mind. Thanks for reading!
Fast Forward Two Years
Two years later I have my own personal blog, Medum publication, Huffington Post profile, and way, way more. In short, freelancing’s been such a blessing to me, and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
If you want to find out how to make your own go at freelancing, download my ebook where I teach you (pretty much) all I know.