Finding paid freelance work as a writer, social networker, blogger, editor, you name it! has been a little difficult somewhat to say the least, but after about 9 months of pushing and pushing and pushing, things are “starting” to pay off.
I say “starting” with tentative quotation marks, as I am by no means out of the difficult moneyless period yet! but things are starting to move forward. So….. how do you find paid work as a freelancer????
Work For Free
The first thing is that you must be prepared to work for free, particularly if the freelance career you are sniffing around is something out of your realms of past experience. For example, I taught in a secondary comprehensive school in London for about seven years. Then I left the country, moved to Venezuela and began teaching English as a Foreign Language. It was o.k., but it wasn’t enough. I was hungry for something. I thought I was hungry for life in another country, but even though I have really gained a lot from living abroad, it was the only thing I was hungry for. I was hungry for a new career. I wanted to write.
So…. I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began working for a non-profit organisation called South American Explorers for free. I still work for them part-time and for the entire duration of my employment I haven’t received even 1 peso of payment and I’ve been working for them since April 2009.
Why have I continued, I hear you ask? Because I have gained invaluable experience and my cv is now starting to look really good. Before leaving London, my cv consisted of a seven year well paid HOD job in one school. Good money….. rubbish credentials! But now I can lay claim to four or five different cvs, all because I have been scrimping and saving whilst working or interning, if you like, for free.
Now I have a cv for teaching, one for teaching English as a Foreign Language (and teach private students as and when I want to!), another cv as a writer/editor, another as a social networker and blogger of anything I can lay my hands on and a final cv which says that I have a year’s experience within the Non-Profit sector as an Assistant Manager who has had experience in fundraising, advertising contracts, writing, events management and intern monitoring. Now….. for a year’s worth of work, that’s not bad going!
After Working For Free, You Need To Update That CV
As well as working for the non-profit, I did also get lots of experience without pay with Buenos Aires Time Out, Diverse Traveller Magazine, The Argentimes and Suite101.com. Again….. no pay check, but as I was working for free for everyone, I was able to dictate the amount of time I spent to everything and utilise it all to my advantage.
Then I started applying for jobs. I smartened up that cv and was able to put all fancy things on it like being able to work with HTML code and stuff (of which I didn’t even know existed a year ago) and then I sent it out to literally hundreds of different ads.
Applying For Jobs
I have applied for about 200 hundred jobs online through the wonderful power of www.craigslist.com over the past two weeks and have had lots of unreturned mails, but a few really good replies and I am now earning a decent wage writing for a PPC Management Company (something I’ve not had experience of before, but am finding interesting because of that fact) writing articles, blogs, tweeting and facebooking with the best of them.
I’ve also been applying to jobs in other countries. I have not limited my search to Buenos Aires and why should I? If I’m going to work freelance, I can do it online and make use of today’s modern technologies, so I’ve been looking as postings in Argentina, US, UK and Brazil. If I get a job that takes me to one of those places, that’s not a problem either because I have other stuff where I’m earning online and so I know that my living costs are always covered and being freelance……. I don’t have to stay in one place. Options are open for me and I LIKE IT!!!!!!!
Drawbacks of Being Freelance
However…. I still don’t have the security of knowing that my money is going to keep coming in. Freelance work comes and goes. I did some blog posts for a guy last week and earned some good money, but now nothing. He doesn’t need any more. And that is the downfall as you cannot just sit back and get on with it. The hunt must always be on for the next piece of work to make sure that there’s never a dip!
Still…… I am significantly better off this year than I was last and although not cruising comfortably yet, I’ve made progress of which I am pleased. Very pleased.
A smug Brit signing out! he he!