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Freelancing at the start of your career – can it be your first job?

If you are a recent graduate, you have a whole gamut of choices, in terms of career options. If you are yet to introspect on what you are really good at, or which profession would best suit you, freelancing could be a good idea. Well, it is indeed true that freelancing can be a wonderful way to begin your career. Let us look at how this is possible.

The best source of knowledge is the experience

If you are a fresher, freelancing is one of the easiest ways to gain experience. If you do not know what it would be like to work in your chosen field, then freelancing is a good way to start. With a freelancing experience in the profession of your choice, you would get first-hand knowledge of how things work. Freelancing gives opportunity, to gauge what skills you have and if they are enough for a full-time job.

Gives you a head start in your career

The current job scenario is tough indeed. It is disappointing to know that most companies term ‘experience’ as a requirement for employment. It is a vicious circle; after all, how can one get experience unless someone gives it to you? This is where freelancing can be beneficial. Freelancing can be considered as experience and can be shown on resumes, with consistency being the only condition.

Helps you embrace professionalism

As students graduate from college, they are not necessarily industry-ready or prepared to face the pressures of a full-time job. Starting off as a freelancer can help a fresher develop a professional attitude. A freelancing experience can teach you how to be more disciplined and manage your time as well as money. Freelancing teaches you persistence, determination, self-control, organizational skills and the ability to handle failures. All these attributes can help a great deal in your professional and personal development.

Expands skill-set and increases compensation benefits

It is a known fact that most jobs meant for recent graduates do not offer much remuneration. However, freelancing can help you build a portfolio of work even before you begin your career. This can help you negotiate for better compensation. The portfolio can also be helpful as a future reference, as it would enhance your overall skill-set.

Enables self-reflection

When you start your career with freelancing, you have a great opportunity to conduct an actual SWOT analysis on yourself. It would give you the chance to evaluate yourself while being engaged professionally. The best part is that you would have plenty of scopes to work on your weaknesses and polish your strengths.

Several creative industries function solely on the basis of networking. They employ people who have a proven track record, or those whose talent has been spotted by industry influencers. Freelancing can help you build the necessary portfolio and reputation to make this possible. It gives you the opportunity to make contacts in different places and leave a lasting, positive impression on them. Many freelancers have even gone ahead and found their dream jobs, only through networking.

Another benefit attached to freelancing is the possibility of being referred to another client or a future employer. As a freelancer, you should understand that delivering good results would always lead to more work. It is advisable that you always ask your clients to review your work and showcase it in your portfolio. This will increase your chances of being referred to other potential clients.

Freedom to choose and flexibility to shift gears

Most students, when they graduate, are still unsure about what they want to do exactly. It is thus, safe to test the waters through freelance work, rather than climbing up the wrong career ladder. Freelancing helps you realize how it feels to work in a particular industry and see if it is a perfect fit for you. It gives you the opportunity to make sure that you like what you do before you enter into it full-time. It also makes it possible for you to switch industries, or even work simultaneously in more than one industry,

This can be easily possible if you couple your avocation with your vocation.  If you were a software engineer and have an aptitude for marketing; freelancing gives you the choice to either offer bundled services to your customers or completely switch to marketing.

Conclusion

“Don’t freelance to make a living – freelance to make a life!” – Joel Klettke

Freelancing is definitely worth trying at the start of your career. It gives you a push, an advantage that you can carry with you. Freelancing experience can give you an edge over the others and help you stand out. It has all the ingredients for a perfect jumpstart to your career. It is flexible, helps you expand your skill-set, bridges the gap between education and employment, gives you the freedom to work at your pace and contributes invaluably to your professional and personal growth. So what are you waiting for? Begin your freelancing journey now!

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