Freelancing: Career or Bridge to Full-Time


Q.  Since graduating a year ago, I have been unsuccessful in landing a full-time job but I’ve picked up several freelance assignments.  I enjoy the work, lifestyle, and make decent money.  Is it practical to make a career out of freelancing? 

A.  Many freelancers do quite well, but most would rather be working full time jobs–especially recent grads.  Freelance work is a good bridge over the current job gap, but I don’t recommend it to recent graduates as a long-term career goal.  Inintially, you should try to eventually work in an agency or corporate job in order to gain experience and insights that will boost your long-term career.  

Three of my friends have done quite well in their freelance careers, but they worked in corporate jobs for at least 15 years before becoming freelancers.  One friend recently returned to a full-time corporate position, citing the inconsistent peaks and valleys of freelance work–and loneliness.  He was bored one week and swamped the next.  He also missed the social interaction of a corporate work environment.  Freelancer Mitch Delaplane offers five tips for those considering a career like his, plus freelancer Lisa Holton provides valuable insights in her earlier guest post.

I highly recommend taking on freelance assignments if you’re currently unemployed or lacking creative fulfillment in your current job.  Several sites list freelance opportunities, plus they allow you to register your freelance services.  Among the sites I like are:  Freelance Job Search, Freelancer and iFreelance.  The Freelancers Union is an invaluable network for freelancers since it provides job leads as well as insurance and other benefits that you’ll need if you hang up your own shingle.  And it’s free to join. 

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