I don’t know if any of you remember the debate Yahoo sparked over telecommuting back in 2013. If it doesn’t ring a bell, let me refresh your memories.
Marissa Mayer, information technology executive, formerly serving as the president and CEO of Yahoo!, sparked a heated debate over the issue of people working from home or not. One side points out the benefits of being able to work from the comfort of home, while the other side claims it will lower productivity and all but destroy collaboration.
I am on the side of “Let’s all work from home and make life easier for everyone, saving strain on the environment while we’re at it.” And though those on the other side may have some valid point, let’s get something clear: We who work from home are not clad in pajamas, slacking away in front of the television.
In a study done by Gallup and Enkata, they found that the opposite was true. But it also depends on the sort of job the person is doing, their personality and about a dozen other factors that play into account. Though this study is talking about those who actually work from home for a company – meaning they are actually employed for the said company – this data could also apply for freelancers or self-employed individuals who work from home.
Experts Predict 40 Percent of Americans Will Be Freelancers by 2020
You read that headline correctly. Experts are saying that, if trends continue to go the way they are going, 40 percent of American will be working as freelancers by 2020. I can say I have already joined the club. As a father, working from home as a freelancer has had its ups and downs, but the value of being there for my little ones every day, all day is priceless. I would never trade it for the world.
Sometimes it takes some event in our lives to force change. I had always wanted to pursue work independently, but you know how things get. For me, it was the economic problems our country has been facing for the last decade. One area that was not hurting was temporary work, contingent work and independent work. This is because, in actuality, the people are still buying, it’s just that companies want to save money, so they’re finding ways to cut corners.
From 2009 to 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of temp employees rose by 29 percent. They surveyed 200 of America’s largest companies and found that temp employees made up 22 percent of their workforce on average. That number is only growing.
Here Are Some Things You Need to Do to Get Started
I am a freelance copywriter. To be honest, writing was never my thing: I never took a writing course; I never went to college for journalism (my degree was in psychology); I knew nothing of the copywriting industry before I started; and I never met anyone who was a copywriter. It is something I just sort of fell into. But, to be honest, doing it was always in the back of my mind.
There are a few things you must do first, though. Things I had to learn the hard way. And because I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way, I will share a few quick tips for you to use if you really want to become a freelancer.
Build Your Online Presence
As a freelancer, people aren’t really looking for you to send them a resume. The first thing they will do is go online and see what you have done in terms of what they are looking for. Say, for example, you want to become a freelance graphic designer. Potential clients want to see any previous projects you have done.
This means, whatever work you do, whether free or otherwise, must be documented. Find a company that offers affordable website design and display your projects there. Link your website to any and all social media, including LinkedIn and Facebook. And while you’re at it, start cleaning up your social media image so that it is more professional. You don’t want photos on Facebook holding a beer bong at the nightclub.
Get Your Portfolio Prepared
Basically, anything work-related should be connected to your online persona. Everything from your website to your Twitter account will become your virtual portfolio. Furthermore, there are a lot of online portfolio services out there that offer a number of tools. This makes it easy to share your talent with potential clients.
Before you even think of creating a full-fledged portfolio, nonetheless, you have to produce some work. Mostly, this means samples that you place throughout the internet. For writers, there are plenty of places to display examples of your work. When I first started I used HubPages. The cool thing about HubPages is that you eventually can make a little money from ads if people visit your page and read your articles.
There are various other things you could do in order to have a better chance at success, but it would actually take me writing a book about it. The two steps above are pretty much the most important things you should focus on. The good thing is you can take it slow and work on it day-by-day.