Tiffany Harris, a friend of the blog and creator of the start-up, Plan Your Second Act, offers information about the career trend of freelancing full-time.
Forbes recently predicted that 50 percent of the workforce will be freelance employees within the next five years. Currently, an estimated 53 million Americans are freelancers and companies are beginning to embrace the potential of freelance employees. Consequently, corporations are making big investments to effectively manage this labor market.
How can you enter this market and successfully compete? Like other avenues of finding a job role, a freelancer needs to first have great presentation of their background, skills, and prior work experience. Beyond the foundational requirement of presenting compelling and descriptive profile, there are 5 ways to successfully compete as a freelancer.
- As a freelancer, you are the CEO of your own business. As such, be prepared to advocate for yourself by first understanding your strengths and abilities. Know how to sell your talents in order to be selected for the project or role.
- Work on projects or select roles that you will enjoy. It is important that you work on projects that will bring out the best in your tool box of skills and abilities. Your clients will see you for the talented professional that you are, which could lead to future work.
- Go the extra mile for your client, but manage your time wisely. In the freelance market, you are often bidding on a defined scope of work. Depending on the terms and conditions of the final contract, you may not have the opportunity to ask for more hours or money to complete the work. Therefore, estimate the job appropriately, but don’t be afraid to go above and beyond to build the important relationships with your client.
- Be open to learning new skills. Since this a newer and growing marketplace, the individuals that will be the most successful will likely be those with broad skills in a particular knowledge base. If you are a great writer, learn about different writing needs and types of writing projects such as copy editing, grant writing, publishing, dissertation writing, and the like. You will find yourself able to bid on a wider array of jobs and have a larger clientele for future work.
- Finally, nurture the relationships once the job is done. Follow up and see if any additional work is needed. For the jobs you don’t get, don’t be afraid to follow-up later down the line to see if other opportunities are available.
The freelance market is growing and you can use this type of work as an option to supplement current income, leverage skills and talents not being used in your current day job, or begin to transition into a full time freelancer. To explore options as a freelancer, check out the three most popular companies: Freelancer, ODesk, and ELance (which is now merging with ODesk). All three companies have a long term presence in the freelance marketplace. Since the early years of the twenty-first century, they are leaders in the breadth and depth of freelancers, equitable fee structure, and a responsive support team for clients and freelancers. This time is an excellent opportunity to be part of a new labor force that will undoubtedly change other employee markets.
Tiffany Harris is professional with over 15 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies. Tiffany is starting an exciting new company, Plan Your Second Act, where she is dedicated to helping small businesses and individuals succeed in the ‘second act’ of their careers. She offers services to help with starting a new business, improve the execution of a current business, and plan business events. Her services are growing and her extensive consulting career makes her well versed in delivering communications, training programs, and improve business processes.
Tiffany can be contacted at, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.