For some people freelancing is a “side hustle” – a second job done to earn a little extra money, or to gain some experience. Whether their “regular job” is working in an office or studying at school, freelancing isn’t the main thing going on in their life.
Freelancing as a second job
If you’re already working in your industry, and looking to learn more or earn more than you can at your current job, then picking up some freelance work can be a great way to spend your free time. Before starting you should first confirm that your current employment contract doesn’t prevent you from freelancing, and that you actually have the time to dedicate to it.
Freelancers in this situation are vulnerable to burnout, and can’t take on large projects by themselves, but can provide valuable skills to small clients who just need small bits of work on an ad-hoc basis. These clients may otherwise struggle to find a skilled freelancer who is willing to take on such small tasks, but the short time commitment can be great for people who are already working another job.
Freelancing while studying
This is a controversial within the freelancing community, and I generally advocate that people shouldn’t attempt to freelance until they’re experienced. From my perspective, if you’re not experienced then you’re not going to provide a good service to the client and it can set expectations (in terms of price and quality) that makes it more difficult for other freelancers in the future.
However, there’s also a number of clients who aren’t looking for a true professional – they just want someone to do small tasks that are beyond them. For these types of tasks, from data entry to small website modifications to formatting information on emails or flyers, a student freelancer can provide the skills required at a low cost. This type of work should probably just be considered “odd jobs” or “beer money”, and I wouldn’t advise attempting to freelance as a primary job until you have several years of experience in your industry.
For more tips, tricks, and thoughts on freelancing, please look through our other posts.