by Waller Jamison
With so many jobs no longer secure, more and more people are
looking into the possibility of becoming a freelancer. This is a particularly good option for types of work which
can easily be done on a contract basis.
Working as a freelancer is an option which can secure you a
part-time or full-time income. Many people start off with a few small contracts and gradually build up their client
base until they have enough work to give up their job.
If you have been working for 15 or 20 years, you will have
developed skills which will enable you to work as a freelance consultant in your field.
Areas which lend themselves particularly well to freelance
work include writing, accountancy or book-keeping, computer programming, graphic design, web development, business
consultancy, tutoring and translation.
Often, if a company is downsizing and decides to outsource
work, it will outsource to people who are currently on the payroll.
So instead of simply losing their jobs, they continue the
same work as before, but in a freelance capacity, so they are self-employed rather than employed. Not everyone is
lucky enough to be given this opportunity.
But if you have been made redundant or are about to be, it is
worth considering setting up as a freelance consultant, offering your skills to employers on a contract basis. It's
a great idea if you have had enough of being told what to do by someone else or feel you could do much better
on your own.
If you are going freelance, you'll have to make sure there is
a demand for your services and then you'll need to market yourself.
Consider the way in which clients are most likely to look for
the service you are offering. Will they go to the Yellow Pages or search online, or look in a trade or professional
journal or the local newspaper?
You will need to determine your advertising budget and
start-up costs. It is likely that you will need an answering machine or service, a computer with internet access
and a website. You'll also need letterhead and business cards and you might consider leaflets, especially if your
clients are likely to be local.
If your existing job is not readily adaptable to freelance
work, think of the aspects of it which might be or skills that you have developed elsewhere which would enable you
to become a freelancer. For some ideas go to Freelance Opportunities.