Freelancing for a Living

How to Start a Career as a Freelancer

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Nowadays, many people have decided to take the future into their own hands and embrace the freedom that come with freelancing. They are able to set their own hours, work as little or as much as they wish, take vacations at their leisure and spending quality time with their families. The question is, how does one start a career as a freelancer?

With proper planning, you can make a living using your computer, from your home office, and have the freedom to take a vacation in the middle of the week if you wish to.

However, are you prepared for that kind of freedom? Here are some tips that will help you start off your career as a freelancer.

Start slowly

Don't quit your full time job until you have taken time to conduct research on your market and figured out how freelancing works and which companies offer it. You need to know how to utilize the internet to bid for freelance work and gain some experience, so as to build some freelancing points on your resume. If you are employed, you could also ask your employer for an opportunity to telecommute. Many employers accept well thought out work-at-home proposals because it is costs less to keep a good employee than to recruit and train a new one.

Prepare your resume

This is the best way to start. Make sure you are clear about what you want to do and focus on those skills. Have a file folder ready with all necessary information ready to be copied or typed into the application forms. Better still, have a version of your resume that you can copy and paste into the "paste your resume here" box.

Identify your strengths

You will be required to talk about your strengths very often. The more frequently you talk about them, the more confident you will be about your skills in a particular skill set or field. It might take several months of self-promotion and acquiring experience as a freelancer to make a comfortable living.

Upgrade your computer applications and skills

It is crucial that you have very modern program software and computer applications. You should use the fastest internet connection possible in your geographical location. Learn how to use as many software applications as possible. Being diverse will make you more marketable.

Learn how to find good freelancing sites

Key in the word "freelance jobs" or "freelance work" into the search engine and you will find thousands of freelance sites listed. Most do not require the job seeker to pay anything. However, there is need for caution when dealing with sites that require some payment in order to use their services.

Upload your profile

Upload your profile on every relevant site until you find the best five to ten sites for you. Do not stop searching and applying even when in the middle of a project. If you wait until the current project is complete, it might take a while before you land on the next.

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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