Career Adventure

career development from both sides of the interview table

Cash flow now: Try freelancing

An unplanned employment hiatus (read: layoff) in this economy leaves one pondering the contingencies.  If I don’t locate a new position in three months…  six months…  how do I make ends meet?  What can I do while I wait for that perfect job to come along?

Enter freelancing.

Although the term “freelancing” most often refers to creative endeavors (writing, graphic design, web work), it can take many forms.  Technically, any work for pay but without an employment arrangement can fall into this category. And despite the economic situation, this can be a profitable time for freelancers — more companies may be wary to bring someone on staff full-time and consider outsourcing to someone like you.

Some freelance opportunities to consider:

  • Work in your field — Depending on your experience, you may be able to continue your work after you leave your company.  Do your previous clients still have a need you can fill?  Do you have contacts who know your work and might be interested in hiring you?  Work through your Rolodex (well, the electronic equivalent) and identify people who might need your talents.  Note: Be sure not to run afoul of any non-compete.  Check with an attorney if you’re not sure of your obligations.
  • Career consulting — With so many of us out of work, it’s a great time to find a way to help others on their career adventure while enhancing your own.  Consider resume review (a service I provide, contact me if you’re interested), career coaching, mock interviews or image consulting.  But make sure you can deliver on your promises — no sense compromising your network in the long run for short-term monetary gain.
  • Writing — While creative writing may satisfy your inner muse, it’s copy writing that pays the bills.  To get some writing samples under your belt, you may need to write a piece or two for free.  Look into needs through professional organizations, or do like I do, blog.  Paying work is available both online and in print.  For online, try the job board at ProBlogger (also a good reference for you budding bloggers).  Or try the Editorial Freelancers Association, which has its own jobs section.
  • Virtual Assistant work — If you’d like to capitalize on administrative skills without being at the whim of an employer, consider working as a Virtual Assistant.  VAs provide administrative assistance to client(s) via phone and internet from a home office.  Stacy Brice operates AssistU, a training program for those interested in building a VA business.  Or, you can try one of the many sites that facilitate connections between potential employers and freelancers (Elance and oDesk both offer such services, for VA work as well as writing, web development and more.)

Are you currently freelancing?  What advice would you have for beginners?  Let me know, and you could be profiled in a future story.

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About Career Adventure

Career Adventure is the blog of Kristi Daeda, a Human Resources and recruiting pro sharing thoughts on career development from both sides of the interview table.

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