Why New Grads Should Consider Freelancing
Congratulations, Class of 2018! You've got your degree, four years of college experience and internships under your belt and now you're ready to officially set your career in motion. And while your parents and professors may be encouraging you to start chasing salaries and 401K's by applying to entry-level positions at top firms and agencies across the country, I understand that isn't always the best route for everyone.
The first year out of college can be incredibly overwhelming. The pressure to land your first job is met with the realization that you're going to have to start making payments on those students loans you took out; and all of the university amenities you've spent the last four years enjoying, suddenly become out of pocket expenses. (Gym memberships cost how much??)
But my advice to you is not to let that pressure pigeon hold you into make a decision you're not ready to make. Just because you have your degree doesn't mean you instantly need to start climbing the corporate ladder. And there's a good chance that the degree you set out to achieve freshman year no longer meets the desires you have for yourself now. So, if you need more time to figure out what it is YOU want to do with your career, consider freelancing.
Freelancing allows flexibility and the opportunity to try your hand at multiple skills until you find the one that you want to continue building. The freelance market has also never been in higher demand with freelancers predicted to make up half of the entire US workforce within the next ten years. And if you think being fresh out of college means you don't have enough experience to start freelancing, you should know that more than half of working millennials are already freelancing today. Here are the best freelance jobs I recommend for new grads.
Brands are constantly looking for freelance copywriters to help with company blog posts, bios and white papers. And the great part is, there's no limit to the topics one can cover with the different industries that exist today. This is a great area to sharpen your writing skills while exploring your interests.
Social Media Manager
You already spend your life on social media and there's nothing more valuable to a brand than someone who 'gets it.' Utilize your photography and engagement skills to help manage a brand's account. Afraid you don't have enough experience? Don't underestimate yourself. School functions you helped promote on Instagram or even your own personal accounts are examples you can share with any potential clients.
Designed shirts for your fraternity's functions? Always getting hit up to design thumbnails for your friend's YouTube channel? Freelance graphic designers are always in high demand and the doodles you create can become the example of work that helps you land your first professional gig.
Content is king these days and more and more companies are looking for freelance video editors to create stories that help keep their brand relevant. Share videos you created for class projects or your own personal vlogs as a way to demonstrate your skills to brands and clients you want to work with.
As a new grad, chances are that developing websites has been a class project you've had to tackle in one way or another year after year; but that hasn't always been the case. To some working generations, website development is still foreign language and seen as a highly valuable skill. Use yours to help an up and coming brand or an individual looking to expand their online footprint.
Highly organized and technically savvy? Consider being a freelance virtual assistant. Entrepreneurs, small business owners and yes, even other freelancers could use an extra set of hands. A virtual assistant allows you the flexibility to work from anywhere and the opportunity to learn first hand from a seasoned leader.
Similar to a virtual assistant, a project manager is tasked with making sure things get done. So if you were ever in charge of organizing a sorority fundraiser or a school election, this is a great area for you to explore. Companies often have events or initiatives they plan and need skilled organizers to put the plan in place and make sure the tasks on their to-do list get done.