In August of 2011, I became a freelancer out of emotional desperation.
Three months prior, I had been hired as a Sales Executive for a software company considered to be the “gorilla in the industry.”
Within a month I was burnt out and frazzled, and for good reason:
1) The traffic was insane! 30 miles to and from the office in downtown Los Angeles traffic meant I was stuck in a bottleneck for almost two hours there and back, five days a week.
2) The cold calling was abhorrently unethical. I made over 100 calls a day to people and businesses who couldn’t have afforded our services on their best day, but who had been vetted by my superiors nonetheless.
3) And the training, oh my Isis the training! I was being taught the art of “massaging the truth” just to land a sale with people who, again, couldn’t afford the service!
To say I was emotionally desperate doesn’t begin to describe how disgusted, disappointed, and downright distraught I felt at my job.
I would come home to a boyfriend who would greet me with a hug that I would dodge if not scream at, “I NEED A MINUTE!”
I would come home craving a shower and carbs, a pillow and more carbs, a tv show and even more carbs.
By month two, I knew the job wasn’t for me when, out of nowhere, my jaw locked up midway through the workday due to stress.
As my boss awkwardly massaged my shoulders in a meek effort to reduce the tension, I knew I had to get out. I felt the truth in my gut. This will be the death of me…
At once I began to Google terms like, “how to escape the rat race,” and “how to find your real purpose in life.”
Almost immediately I discovered the term “remote employment” which quickly led me toward freelance websites like Elance.com, UpWork.com, and Guru.com.
Ravenously, I scoured those sites looking and applying for opportunities that could match my income needs, skill sets and deeper interests, all while allowing me to work from home.
Then, salvation struck: in August 2011 I scored an opportunity to quit my corporate job and go freelance and I’ve never looked back.
I went from having a secure, bi-monthly paycheck, a 401K retirement plan, health benefits, seven vacation days a year, and overall “security” in my life to having a freelance career that didn’t have any of those things but offered me something far more valuable: personal freedom.
When you truly want something better for yourself and you show up every day to pursue it, life provides incredible opportunities…
Nowadays, going freelance has never been easier and it’s only becoming more accessible everyday.
So if you’ve been itching to:
…then going freelance could be the way to do it.
Below are the three steps I took to reshape my career trajectory in a way that offered me more flexibility, freedom, and opportunity than I ever perceived possible!
3 SIMPLE STEPS TO
All it really takes to become a kickass freelancer is to narrow down what skills you’re good at, redo your resume to match those skills, and then find a place to start offering your skills for hire.
Three. Simple. Steps.
BRAINSTORM YOUR SKILLS
Freelancing is all about maximizing every one of your talents, so don’t skimp on listing out everything you can do! My list? It includes everything from training horses to web development and all the things I can do in between.
ADJUST YOUR RESUME
Once you’ve decided which skills of yours you want to offer up as services, it’s time to redo your resume to match. Don’t be shy! List off everything you’ve accomplished that demonstrates you have what it takes to work in your new field. If you’re offering skills in a field you’re already working in (as I did back in 2011), then this part should be easy enough.
APPLY FOR WORK
With your new resume on hand, it’s time to apply for jobs that match your available services. You could apply via the traditional routes with companies looking for your skills, OR you could explore alternative options, which is what I chose to do. Go to some of the websites listed below to explore available contracts looking or someone with your skill set and start applying!
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to try new things! Confidence goes a long way in the freelance community. And clients love it when you can admit, “I’m not sure, but I’ll figure it out!”
Since going freelance, I’ve donned so many hats at various times thanks to keeping my options open while stumbling upon random opportunities.
For example: while I don’t list horse training on my typical resume, having it in my toolbox led me to a variety of equestrian opportunities over the years that I otherwise might not have taken the time to explore for fear of breaking away from my designated career path.
Likewise, I’ve also taken on very lucrative positions that I wasn’t certain fit my skill set, but that I knew I could do and could figure out on difficult days. My transparency, gumption, and overall willingness to grow resonated very well with all of my past clients so that they gave me the shot that I otherwise, without said confidence, may not have received.
“Know thyself, but also allow thyself to grow beyond what you ever thought possible…”Tiffany
WHERE I FIND FREELANCE CONTRACTS ONLINE
If you’ve decided to make the leap from office to home-office – or, say, from waitressing to copyediting – there are a few websites you need to know about to help you find your first string of clients:
This site used to be my bread and butter when I first started freelancing. If you already do an office job, or you feel comfortable conducting work from your computer, you can use this site to work with clients from around the world. GO TO UpWork.com
This site doesn’t feature nearly as many good contracts as UpWork.com, but when you’re just starting out it’s best to be available on all platforms. GO TO Guru.com
Another site that falls below UpWork.com in quality clientele, but again, just as worthy of exploring. GO TO Freelancer.com
Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. I’ve found a couple clients through Craigslist.com while living in Mexico, so it’s possible! GO TO Craigslist.org
GOOGLE MORE OPTIONS!!!
Go to Google.com and type in ‘Where to find freelance contracts’…the list is ever expanding as freelance websites are becoming more and more popular. I could be here all day building this list and still not get them all! GO TO my Google search for freelance websites
If you’re serious about going freelance, don’t overthink it…
Going freelance doesn’t happen overnight, but, once you commit to it, it can happen fast.
I went freelance in one month flat after deciding I couldn’t stand my corporate job anymore. You can read more about my journey over here.
Now, I run a few online businesses and work with clients on an exclusive basis.
Just remember, when the going gets tough out there:
There’s no reason why you should be stuck in an office, doing menial work, when you could be at home in your bunny slippers, sipping a fresh smoothie and listening to cafe music on blast!