I admit, I’m a big proponent of freelancing as a career. I send my mother markets I think she should write for and ask my friends when they’re going to strike out on their own. I know there are some people who may not be ideal for the approach to work required of a freelance writer, but I also think there are some people for whom freelancing is the perfect business opportunity. The five categories below are groups of people who I think should consider freelancing as a viable option.
- Caretakers. I’m lumping a lot of people in this category — parents taking care of their children, individuals caring for ailing relatives, etc. Generally, taking care of other people can be a full-time gig, but not necessarily a well-paying one. However, there is some free time (nap times, etc.) that a caretaker can reach for a computer and do a few minutes of work at a time.
- Students. During college, I had plenty of free time for side jobs. And side jobs that didn’t require to me work evenings and weekends — you know, prime “studying” time — made my day.
- Ladder climbers. Say you want to be considered expert enough on a topic to get a raise, but can’t get opportunities to raise your profile at work. Freelancing can be a great way to not only earn a little extra cash but to position yourself as an expert.
- Less-than-healthy individuals. I can’t think of a good noun for this category — I mean people who want to work, but for health reasons, just aren’t up to the 9-to-5 grind. For instance, I’ve known people that suffered from extremely painful migraines that just weren’t controllable with medication. They couldn’t predict when a migraine could hit, and thus couldn’t hold down a job. They could, however, freelance and take breaks from their work whenever necessary.
- People in Transition. There are lots of little in-between phases in life, when you might find yourself with some time to fill — you might have a few weeks before a new job starts, or a summer vacation. Those times are perfect opportunities to test out your interest in freelancing, and even build some experience.