Making the jump to freelance can be a hugely rewarding and empowering career change – albeit it slightly scary, particularly in the beginning. With many of us growing dissatisfied with the increasing demands put on employees, in contrast freelancing allows you to be in control of your own career and manage your own hours and schedule. However despite the many positive aspects to freelancing, it is at times an unpredictable and inconsistent way of earning money. Because of this it’s important to consider how you can supplement your new freelance career, particularly while you’re still finding your feet. Even once you’re established, having that secondary source of income means that you have the financial security should you find yourself between jobs or struggling to get work. This leaves you to focus on launching your career, rather than worrying about how you’re going to make ends meet month to month.
Luckily there are a number of ways you can generate additional income that will work around your freelance career – although open mindedness may be required! Which is best for you is entirely dependant on your preference and past experience, but let's look into the top five ways now to hopefully give you a bit of money making inspiration.
Utilise Your Talents, or Previous Experience
Most people have either a talent or past experience that they can utilise when trying to bring in some extra income. Sit down and write a list of anything you’re good at, or have had past experience in. This might be waitressing, childminding or even teaching. If you’re creatively minded (as well as talented) work out your niche and consider selling on sites such as Etsy.com. It could be anything from baby clothes to birthday cards, depending on your skillset and creative abilities. If have a college degree that’s totally irrelevant to your current freelance career consider if there’s anything you could be doing that makes use of your degree and academic experience in that field or industry. Don’t dismiss things such as gardening, cleaning and dog walking, as they can all help to bring in a second income that works around your freelance career.
Look for a Part Time Job
Due to the difficulty (or some might say near impossibility) of landing your dream job, the majority of freelancers have started their working life in other professions. Even if it’s in something which is totally unrelated to your freelance career, a part time job is a great and reliable way of boosting your earnings. Once again, pull on previous experience and seek out any part-time jobs that fit your capabilities. Try not to be too picky, as this is for purely financial reasons while you get your freelance career up and running. Worked in a coffee shop during college? See if any local cafes are hiring for part time positions. A part time job is perhaps the best way to supplement your freelance career, as it’s the most reliable source of income. Once you’ve secured a job, you’ll be able to work out how much additional income you’ll be bringing in each month, and in turn how much you’ll need to earn from freelancing to cover your expenses. In our current work climate trying to get even a part time job is by no means easy, but with past experience and a bit of perseverance you should be able to get something to help you supplement your freelance work.
Try Your Hand at Trading
For those with a background or even interest in finance online trading can be an flexible way to generate additional income. Ideally those considering online trading as a way to supplement their freelance career would have prior experience of the stock market or investment, but if not look for a well established broker (such as CMC Markets) that offers free trials and a ‘learn’ feature so that you’re able to gain experience. Look for someone with good starting rates and minimal commission so that you’re able to open an account for a relatively low price. You’ll need a small amount of capital to get yourself started as well as ideally some savings so this may not be an option for everyone, but if you do have any past experience in either trading or investment then this could be a viable way to supplement your freelance career. Availability to trade any time of day as well as complete flexibility (only a laptop or PC is required, as well as reliable internet connection) means that it can easily fit in with your freelance work. However, I would not recommend this for everyone, and remember that even if your experience is in the financial sector this is only intended to support your freelance career so invest little and wisely, and never put forward more than you can afford to lose.
Embrace ‘Sharing Is Caring’
If you’re a single person living in a two bedroom house or apartment then you’re seriously overlooking a great opportunity to supplement your earnings. While it’s definitely not an option for everyone (if I’m honest, myself included), if you’re happy with the prospect of sharing your home with someone then ditch that home-office-cum-never-actually-been-used-spare-room and get down to Ikea. There’s usually always someone looking for accommodation, whether it be short-term or long term, particularly if you live in a city. Sign up with a credible lettings or house share agency, or consider using sites such as AirBnB to advertise your property. Remember though not to personalise the room too much, as your taste may not be that of everyone else's and you don’t want to discourage potential house (or flat) mates. This can be potentially one of the most profitable ways to supplement your freelancing career as renting a room doesn’t come cheap, but it all depends on whether you’re willing to share your space (bathroom and kitchen included!) with someone you don’t know.
There’s often more people than you might think living locally who are looking to improve their English language skills. If you have any past credible experience in English (this would particularly good for those with a degree in English or, for instance, freelance writers) then advertise locally and online for English language classes. Often people will need to sign up for a number of lessons at one time, say 6 or 10, which means you will have guaranteed income for 6 or 10 weeks. While not as reliable as a part time job, this guarantees you complete flexibility to work around your freelance career, as you have the control to dictate when you’re available to teach.
These are only five ideas to get you thinking about how best to supplement your freelance career, but there are so many alternatives that will allow you to support yourself when starting out as a freelancer. It all depends on your abilities and past experience – as well as how open minded you’re prepared to be. It is advisable though to do something to supplement your income when you’re starting out, just to make the transition to earning as a freelancer slightly easier.
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