How to Find Freelance Gigs When Looking For Work

Here’s a familiar dilemma: you’re looking for work, but you need some sort of income to pay the bills while you search (even though sometimes a job search can feel like a full-time job!). What’s a job searcher to do?

Answer: freelance! A study found that freelancers are happier than their permanently employed counterparts. Freelancing can not only supplement your income while you’re looking for a more permanent gig, but it can also help build your skills and make you more appealing to potential employers.

Laurie Tarkan, a health journalist at Fox News, asserts that not only can freelancing bring in extra money and build your skill set, but it can actually make you happier and healthier than permanent employees. Don’t believe me? Here are the facts:

  • 78 percent of temporary or contract employees (read: freelance) say their experience as such has been positive.
  • 73 percent rate their growth potential at their current place of employment as good or excellent.
  • 86 percent say their level of satisfaction is very good or excellent; only 73 percent of permanent workers say the same.

Plus, increased job satisfaction and more work flexibility has been associated with better physical and mental health and lower rates of stress and depression. Follow these three tips to score a great freelance gig while you’re looking for work:

1. Get Social
As in, socially networked. Establish your presence as a thought leader in your desired industry on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Post relevant articles and industry insights, participate in LinkedIn group conversations, and continue to build your identity on social networks. Consider building a website showcasing your freelancing abilities, and leverage this on social media when looking for work.

2. Network
Reach out to old connections and continue to make new ones — you never know who could need your help! Network online and in person, and be sure to follow up after meeting someone. Try looking online for nearby networking events related to your industry to learn about freelancing opportunities.

3. Market Yourself
To get hired for freelance jobs, you need to present to potential employers a strong personal brand. Establish and maintain your personal brand within and across industries, and keep it consistent across all platforms (website, social media, business cards, etc.). Once you have a strong brand, get it out there! You are your biggest promoter.

When listing your freelance gigs on your resume or social  media profiles, be sure to group these experiences together to make it clear these were indeed freelance gigs and that you aren’t just a job-hopper. Freelancing is a great way to make some money during your job search, all while building your brand and sharpening your skills.

Have you ever freelanced while looking for work? What did you think of the experience?

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