Should I get a freelance job?
Is self-employment for you?
A freelance worker is a self-employed person hired by a company or person. They are not employed by any particular company on a permanent basis. Freelancers tend to be paid per project or per pieces of work. They do not receive salaries or weekly wages. Common freelancing jobs include editing/proof reading, graphic and web design or video editing.
Why would I work freelance?
Advantages of freelancing
- Freelancers can choose their own hours and work at their own pace
- Freelancers can pick and choose different areas of speciality, which brings a lot of variety to their work life
- Freelancing can give you lots of different experiences, which may impress future employers
Disadvantages of freelancing
- There is no security in freelancing
- You are not guaranteed a pay cheque every month
- Freelancers are not entitled to paid holidays, health insurance, pension plans or other common work related benefits
- Freelancing does not suit everyone’s personality
- If you are very sociable, you may not enjoy the frequent amount of alone time that freelancing requires
How do I get a freelance job?
Have an open mind
Freelancing is not just for professionals like graphic designers; freelancing can also be about doing small jobs for people in your neighbourhood. You can mow lawns, walk dogs or babysit.
Focus on your skills
You may take your ability to play the piano or speak Spanish for granted, but there is a whole world of people out there who would really value your talents. If you are a freelance cupcake maker for example then bring along some samples for people to try.
Do some research
Find out what people are looking for in your area and let them know you are available for jobs.
Make up business cards and let people in your field know you are ready, willing and able for work. Also, don’t just limit networking to obvious job sources. Let friends, family, neighbours and acquaintances know all about your freelancing.
Some other online options include creating your own website, starting a business blog, joining forums, signing up to Twitter and to a business page on Facebook. Once you sign up to Twitter and Facebook you can start following or adding potential clients. This is a good and cheap way to advertise your services.
You can also get your name out there by printing some business cards or leaflets advertising your services and dropping them door-to-door, or asking if you can leave some in local shops and businesses.
Key points to bear in mind:
- Be patient, just like with any business, it takes times to build up your work and clients
- You are responsible for paying your own taxes. Even if your business is small, you will still need to pay some form of tax. If the whole tax thing is overwhelming, ask around for an accountant.
- It’s not for everyone. If you try it and don’t like it; you don’t have to stick with it.
Need more information?
Talk through your own situation or get another point of view. Our online chat service for 16 to 25 year olds is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm.