by Cameron Schiff
Freelancing used to be synonymous with “out of work” in business circles. But today working as a freelancer is a respected career track with many benefits the “day job” can’t offer — including a flexible schedule, the ability to choose only projects that interest you and the chance to delve into interesting topics and network with interesting people. Freelance careers today are a fast-growing segment of the overall career marketplace, and an if you have freelancing skills, look at them as an asset in light of on-going economic struggles.
There are several creative freelance careers that may be a perfect fit for your education and skills.
The Free Dictionary offers a great definition of a freelancer as “a person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them.” This is the epitome of the freelance lifestyle and a key reason why so many highly trained, intelligent, educated and professional people are increasingly opting to create their own niches as freelancers. Professionals are even returning to school to earn advanced degrees, such as an online MBA degree, with a plan to return to the workforce as a freelancer.
Eight Great Freelance Careers.
Many of the fastest growing freelance careers that are in high demand require specialized skills that many business generalists do not possess. Freelancers with education and training in areas such as accounting and finance, web and IT, writing and project management are in particular demand. These eight freelance careers are some of the hottest careers in freelancing today.
- Business project management
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Computer software
Business Project Management.
A skilled project manager can save an entrepreneur or company hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by keeping important projects on budget and on schedule. Because of this, it is more and more common for companies to hire freelance project managers to manage this task.
While many professionals are great performers in one-on-one consultations and meetings, the ability to write succinctly and effectively for a business or professional audience is yet reserved for a highly trained few. Writing is one of the top freelancer careers for precisely this reason.
With the advent of digital photography, it has become easier than ever to share new products, services, customer experiences and more through a simple click of a camera button. However, there are many areas where lighting, movement and other challenges impair the ability of a novice photographer to capture key moments on film. Skilled photographers continue to be in high demand and therefore, thrive as freelancers.
Web, Computer Software and Graphic Design.
Today’s business and networking marketplace is driven by web tools, including a selection of the right software and hardware for the job and flashy, memorable graphic design-based campaigns to capture the interest of prospective online customers. In spite of the rise of social media tools like Facebook and LinkedIn, which most professionals participate in, the web/IT skillset is still quite specialized and many professionals choose to outsource this function to a professional freelancer.
Marketing is increasingly a web-driven business function that requires a highly specialized skill set. As well, marketing and advertising can be extremely time-intensive, making it difficult for a single person or even a few people to run a business efficiently while also putting out high-quality promotions. For this reason it often makes sense for busy professionals and entrepreneurs to outsource their marketing function to a freelancer who can devote the time to building online and social media-based relationships on the company’s behalf.
There is no question that even the brightest and most talented professionals get tripped up doing bookkeeping and tax work. As such, freelancers who are trained in bookkeeping and accounting can easily build a client base of professionals who need help during key periods of the year, such as during tax filing season. Tax for freelancers is a complex entity and therefore, many entrepreneurs and freelancers alike also choose to outsource their bookkeeping and tax functions even if they do everything else themselves.
In addition to these popular freelance careers, the field of freelancing is flexible and creative enough to accommodate just about any specialized education or training you have that may be beneficial to busy professionals.
Cameron Schiff earned his masters in business and planned to freelance while building a graphic design business. He fell in love with freelancing and is thriving in his work with several clients including Fortune 100 companies.