Freelancing for a Living

How to Find a Freelance Job

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

For freelancers who are looking for work-at-home jobs, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that freelance positions actually exist and they keep growing daily. The bad news is that you are unlikely to find such positions posted on the internet or in the local newspaper. How then can freelancers go about finding suitable telecommuting jobs?

As a freelancer, finding jobs on many major job boards can be a very daunting task especially if you are seeking for a full-time rather than a part time job.

Still, depending on the field of work you are interested in, getting the right contract work can be simpler if you keep some of the following things in mind.

Focus on the company and not the job title

Some companies are more likely to offer the chance to freelancers than others. If freelancing is part of the company culture, you will not be in the uncomfortable position of having to sell a new idea to the employer. A sensible approach would be to select a few companies that you would want to work for, and then start searching for actual job vacancies. Since many companies don't advertise their job openings on job boards, searching for work by employer, rather than job title, can make the process much faster.

Don't ignore small businesses

Whereas many large companies are well known as contract employers, there are numerous small companies which are willing to take on board employees who are willing to freelance. Though it may require you to do more persuasion, the financial gains of working with freelancers are especially attractive to small businesses. The reduced cost of equipment, furniture and office space for an employee can be sufficient reason to convince small business owners.

Since there aren't always other employees available to share their experiences, it is not easy to tell right away how it will be to work with a small business as a telecommuter. However, most small businesses are very flexible when hiring new freelancers because they don't have to produce a general company telecommuting policy for all its employees.

Be prepared to negotiate

Even though companies have established telecommuting policies, they are rarely universal. Some companies give their managers permission to allow exceptions depending on the situation. Others have different policies for different divisions. The main thing to be aware of is that managers often seek to maintain some level of control over who is telecommuting and how frequently they do so. This, however, does not imply that you cannot negotiate a telecommuting arrangement for yourself.

Some employers are just looking for some reassurance that you will work as well over the web as you would if you were actually in the office. If you can give some reassurance, such as specific goals and a regular schedule of check-ins, you have a good basis to negotiate a telecommuting arrangement that suits you best.

Be on the lookout for scams

One of the biggest challenges in finding a freelancing position is the numerous scams that target contract workers. Many are easily recognizable, though much time can be wasted going through job listings which are full of scams. Depending on the kind of job you are seeking, you may be exposed to more or less scams. Positions which require fewer skills are more vulnerable to scam listings. Always be cautious of offers that look too good to be true.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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