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Entrepreneurship & Freelancing

What Is Freelancing?

Essentially, a freelance job is one where a person works for themselves, rather than for a company. While freelancers do take on contract work for companies and organizations, they are ultimately self-employed.

Okay so... what is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship refers to the process of creating a new enterprise and bearing any of its risks, with the view of making the profit. The person who creates a new enterprise and embraces every challenge for its development and operation is known as an entrepreneur.

What's this mean for me, a CC student?

So many of our CC students are excited to venture out on their own -- meaning, they're interested in the field of entrepreneurial freelancing. They may want to start their own businesses. Maybe they have a niche area of skills that they could market for high profit. The creativity you develop at CC (and at the Big Idea competition!) can help you find out if this is the right area for you.

DEVELOP YOUR INTEREST

Okay so you kind of know what freelancing and entrepreneurship mean. Here's how you learn more and figure out if you're truly interested:

Ways to Say "Freelance Jobs"

When you're searching for freelance jobs, there are a number of different terms to be aware of. These can be used to help you find freelance job openings, and they're also useful when describing yourself and the work you do to potential clients.

  • Freelance job: A widely-used term to find freelance jobs.
  • Contract work: Jobs where you're a temporary contract worker, rather than a permanent employee.
  • Contract job: Same as contract work.
  • Independent contractor: Another common way to say freelancer. Your work terms are specified by a contract with another company or individual. This is how the IRS classifies this type of work.
  • 1099: Used to describe the type of job. For example, "This is a 1099 contract position." Refers to the IRS form an independent contractor fills out: form 1099-MISC.
  • Contract consultant: Someone who is hired for temporary consultations for specific issues within a company.
  • Contract-to-hire: A job that begins as a freelance, independent contractor position but has the potential to become a regular employee position if things go well.

How to Find Freelance Work

Focusing on companies that are known to hire freelancers can be a great way to start your search for freelance work. Recently, FlexJobs created a list of the top 30 companies for freelance jobs, meaning they posted the most freelance openings on our site. Here's the top 10:

  1. Kelly Services
  2. Real Staffing
  3. Kforce
  4. AFIRM
  5. Onward Search
  6. Dahl Consulting
  7. Ajilon
  8. Computer Futures
  9. Paladin
  10. Addison Group

Most Common Freelance Career Fields

As you can see from the freelance job listings on FlexJobs, a variety of companies, organizations, and government agencies hire freelancers. You'll find work in almost every career imaginable, and the freelance jobs vary from small, temporary projects to long-term, full-time projects.

In 2018, FlexJobs determined the career fields that had the most freelance openings on our site are:

  1. Computer & IT
  2. Accounting & Finance
  3. HR & Recruiting
  4. Editing, Proofreading, and Writing
  5. Administrative
  6. Project Management
  7. Data Entry
  8. Analyst
  9. Software Development
  10. Technical Support

Pros and Cons of Freelancing

Every job has pros and cons, and freelancing is no different. Being aware of challenges ahead can ensure you're prepared and dealing with reality.

Pros of Freelancing

Having control over your workload, the clients you work with, and your income is a big benefit of freelancing. When you freelance, you're in the driver's seat. You determine what jobs to take on, which clients you want to work for, and your pay rate. Depending on your level of expertise, it could be possible to work part-time hours, but make full-time pay.

Flexibility and remote work are also a perk. Most of the time, working on freelance projects will involve working at your home office and working the hours you so choose. You'll absolutely have deadlines to meet, but you will decide when and where you work.

Cons of Freelancing

With the ultimate in control, comes additional responsibilities. As a freelancer, you are a business owner, and you need to stay on top of taxes, invoices, payments received, finding your own health insurance, and buying every piece of software and technology you need to complete your work.

Feast or famine syndrome is another real downside to freelancing. Some months you'll be full to the brim with work, while the next month may be a ghost town. You may be relying on a consistent contract with one client, only to find they don't need you anymore suddenly. Freelancing requires good money management and constant sourcing of new clients.

DEVELOP YOUR SKILL SET

Traits and Characteristics Needed as a Freelancer

There are a few qualities you should possess to set yourself up for freelance success. While not an all-encompassing list, these important characteristics will give you an idea of where you should focus.

Discipline

There's no boss watching you out of the corner of their eye or colleagues to judge you when you spend an hour online shopping instead of working. Discipline is necessary to stay on track.

Persistence

Persistence is always important, but particularly when you're just getting started as a freelancer and desperately trying to track down work.

Resilience

There's one word you'll hear more than anything as a freelancer: no. Rejection is the name of the game, and you're going to need to let it roll off your back.

Organization

You're responsible for a lot of different tasks. You need to keep track of your income and expenses. You need to promptly reply back to client emails and stay on top of your deadlines. You need to keep your files sorted and your workload streamlined.

Outgoing

You don't necessarily need to be outgoing in the traditional sense, but you do need to be able to be a little aggressive in order to land new clients. If you want to grow your business, you're going to have to be comfortable networking and approaching strangers, whether you're doing it in person or digitally.

Communicative

Being a freelancer involves a lot of communication. You need to be willing to have the hard conversations-like negotiating a higher rate or breaking up with a client-and handle them tactfully and professionally. There's no boss or other colleague to take care of that dirty work for you.

Ready to Become a Freelancer?

Finding freelance work doesn't have to be hard. FlexJobs partners with thousands of companies-ranging from Fortune 500 to small businesses-to offer positions in more than 50 job categories. Learn more today!

Opportunities & Resources

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/02/2021