Upwork recently released an E-book to help Freelancers get started, not only on Upwork, but in building their careers and becoming successful with freelancing.
The E-book "Build a business you love. Freelancing Tips from the Pros", highlights statistics about the future of work and freelancing. Although, freelancing has always been an option for work, nowadays its becoming more and more common. Currently, over 35% of the U.S. workforce is freelancing in some capacity. And that number is growing. Estimates indicate that by the year 2020, up to 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancing (Source: Freelancers Union). And this growth trend isn't limited to the United States.
We thought it would be interesting to hear from our global Community about how they got started freelancing.
Did you recently become a freelancer or have you been freelancing for awhile? If you've been freelancing for awhile have you noticed a change in what freelance work was in the past and what it has become now? What enticed you to become a freelancer- was it financial independence, flexibility and freedom, or do you like change and variety and just don't want to work the same job? Tell us about your freelance journey.
The Great Recession, starting in 2008, rendered me and a lot of other fiftysomethings unemployable. I had international social media connections that pointed me toward and provided online work, which eventually led to starting my own business.
Like Michael, the 2008 recession took it's toll - esp. on the mindset of employers when it came to what a job actually entailed. Plus I was sick to death of the politics of mega-corps. I'd always done creative work for past clients from my broadcasting days; this gave me an income, albeit not steady, while I developed a clientele base as a FLer.
A random conversation brought eLance onto my radar and I've never looked back.
Do you now Freelance full-time? When I think of freelancing historically, freelance writers is the most well-known field. Years ago, if someone told me they were a freelancer I would have assumed they're a writer. You didn't mention how long you have been freelancing, but jumping off of Michael's post, sometime after 2008. Have you noticed a change in the dynamic of freelancing?
That's great! Getting out of the corporate world and running your own business for almost 10 years now! I read an article where they coined your generation "The Silver Self-Employed". Has it made you look at retirement any differently? Do have the flexibility to take on hobbies and leisure that you enjoy, while maintaining an income?
I was an independent consultant on the IBM AS/400 for 15 years. Late in 2002 the makrket in the US had pretty much dried up due to outsourcing. Like a lot of people in the tech industry I ended up working a series of "crappy" jobs. Being a Mac person I learned Filemaker by building a few databases for myself and others. Finally in 2013, tired of not working in a IT/Programming environment I searched the internet and came across Elance, Odesk and others. I decided to take a chance. The rest is history.
So not being able to find a job in your field that you desired, you decided to take charge. Freelance and market yourself to do the jobs you wanted. How was that path? Is there anything that you would have done differently? We have many freelancers with a variety of tech skills on the platform and many with a similar story. They have an extensive background and may have a hard time finding work. I've spoken to some freelancers who were system admins and engineers that were stuck at crappy call center type jobs. Do you have any advice for transitioning to freelance work?
I think it was more finally being fed up with working the crappy jobs for people that don't care about the employees. The only thing that I wish I could have done differently was to have a cash reserve to hold me until I was established but with the type of jobs I had that wasn't really possible. So it was all or nothing. There were some tough times. The biggest advantage I had was the previous background in consulting so I had some idea of what to expect even though online freelancing was new to me.
As far as advice goes:
1. Think hard about making the choice and the pitfalls.
2. Seek advice from other freelancers.
3. Don't be afraid to get clients that don't want to post online.
4. Most IT people have multiple skills. Concentrate on the ONE you feel most comfortable with.
To add to what Vince has said for advice for freelancers transitioning to being a freelancer is they should work hard to improve skills and keep them up-to-date. If they are already experts and can show it, they need to show relavant portfolios as well as create good proposals. Above all else, I think it's about the hustle and determination to become a freelancer. It takes time to build clients and rapport, and once it starts building up, you get crazy busy. You need to show confidence and the true want to help clients, build relationships and express a passion for what you do.
Dear Lene ,
Hope you ar well. I am in need of your help . Please verify my account why I am not getting Rising talent badge as most of the requirements are fullfilled. Another problem is Upwork locked my account to private in visibility. I am thriving to get a job and also gave exceptional test on my profile.
Please guide me through.
Looking forward to your reply .