Have you been thinking about freelance work or starting your own business?
You’ll be glad to know that this is a growing trend in today’s economy.
Back in 2007 I found myself re-entering the workforce with an outdated resume and graphic design skills from the 1990s. I turned to Craigslist, and conducted hours of research and outreach to find anyone interested in hiring me as an independent contractor.
For a while it seemed discouraging, and I even looked into network marketing, but decided that was not a good fit for me. Armed with a 2004 iMac, Photoshop, and a high-speed Internet connection I stayed persistent in my quest for work at home so that I could continue to be there for my daughter, who was seven at the time, and my disabled mother, who also lives with me.
I was eventually hired and signed a contract with a small local company who produced posters for charity auctions based on art produced at schools from around the country. Not only was the work fun, but also helped me to sharpen my skills in graphic design. The hours were very flexible, and I was able to care for my daughter and my mother while producing a small income. I was hooked.
Flash forward three years later when I accepted an additional freelance position with a local marketing firm where I have learning social media management and content marketing skills. Today I am continuously gaining new knowledge and building toward my future with the aim of producing more income from home.
Whether you are an independent contractor or run your own home business the traditional employment outlook is changing as technology and cloud computing have made remote work more possible than ever.
According to a report by Intuit, more than 80 percent of corporations will be relying on flexible workers or independent contractors rather than hiring employees. There are several reasons for this, including the high cost of healthcare since Obamacare was implemented, higher taxes, and a move toward a cleaner environment with less congestion on the freeways.
A recent Gallop poll shows that telecommuting is four times higher today than it was in 1995:
Would you like to work independently from home?
Perhaps you are currently employed, but would like to have more time with your family or desire to venture out into a new career path with greater flexibility. Or maybe finding a job has been difficult even with your current education and skills. Whatever your situation may be it is not too late to begin the process of becoming an independent contractor or start your own business from home.
I’ve put together a few tips on how to get started:
Start with your current skill set
What experience do you have right now that you can use? Make a list of the possibilities based on this and go from there. I had a basic knowledge of graphic design after having worked in the pre-press printing industry for a few years. After that I moved into blog commenting with a journalism degree and background, which led to social media management and blog writing later on.
Set aside a schedule between work and life each day
Do one thing each day to move you closer to your goal. If you plan on starting a home business, begin with organizations like your local Score.org to find out what steps to take next. If you plan on being an independent contractor map out your game plan and how this will begin for you in order to find work.
Get your branding ducks in a row
Decide how you will be presenting yourself on social media. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile set up, you will want to get this started right away. If you have one, but don’t have it updated, now is the time to re-evaluate and make any changes and updates. LinkedIn expert, Viveka von Rosen, is a trusted expert on this. Some use their name, or choose a business name for their personal branding. This is the moment to decide which road you’re going to take, and to stick with it in a consistent manner. As soon as you decide lock in your username on places like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, ect. Your niche and focus will help you narrow your focus on the right networks. Take a look at what platforms others in your industry are using and choose those.
Take advantage of online resources
If you plan on being a freelance contractor there are a number of free education places you can try to improve your skills. I once heard of a man who took just one class to brush up his existing training and it gave his home business a tremendous boost. Check out places like edX, Coursera, and Open Education Database (OEDB) to get started.
Becoming independent and working from home is a step-by-step process that can be accomplished day by day until you reach your goasl. The key is to not give up while trying different ideas or seeking new opportunities. It may take a few tries until you get completely launched, but is well worth the sacrifices in order to be able to work the way you want to.
What steps did you take to work from home?