How Freelancing While Studying Can Build Your Employability

In this guest post, Isabella Blazevic, shares her experience developing employability skills through freelancing.

It’s tough juggling both school and work as a student. You want to be able to study and get the marks that you want, but on the other hand, you need the money and experience. I remember feeling the same way with my previous part-time job. But now, I have the best of both worlds: a job that builds my employability, gives me the money I need, and gives me enough time to study. And that job is freelance writing.

 Why You Should Get Into Freelancing

 Unlike a lot of other part-time jobs, you can set your own times when you freelance. I know for me, my university timetables were (and still are) constantly changing, meaning that I had to consult my manager and rearrange my roster to suit my needs. There were many times where I had to miss out on shifts because of it. But with freelancing, I don’t need to worry about that. I can write whenever I want as long as I get them done by the due date.

Now that I’m doing my Masters and need as much as time as I can get to study, I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to manage both my previous part-time job and coursework. I may have stopped working altogether. With freelancing, I can still work without feeling the need to compromise on my study. Not only that, but I’ll continue getting the experience that potential employers want to see. Also, as a quick side note, since writing is key for a lot of my assignments, I’ve found that freelancing helps refine that skill and vice versa. It’s a win-win.

 But these are just some of the many perks that come with freelancing. 

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

 Boosting Your Employability

Have you ever heard of “show, don’t tell”? Sure, you can just talk about what you did at your other job with your interviewer, but the great thing about freelancing is that, you have proof of your work. You can select which pieces best reflect your professionalism and work ethic, and build a portfolio which you can then show to future employers. It’s a lot more convincing than merely talking about your experience, and it’s an effective way to make a good first impression.

Freelancing focuses on different skills than the typical casual position; skills that are valuable to potential employers, whether they’re employing freelancers or not. Since you’ll be working for yourself, you have to manage your time and learn how to write concisely with little to no guidance. Companies want employees who take initiative, who are self-sustaining, and by having experience in freelancing, many employers will feel reassured that you can complete your work on time and at a high standard.

However, there is the chance that if your potential employer doesn’t work in the freelancing field, they may see your autonomy as a hindrance to them. After all, there’s the possibility you might not like a regular 9-5 job once you’ve tried out freelancing. It honestly depends on how you spin it. If you emphasise the unique skills that you’ve developed from freelancing, there’s a good chance you’ll sway them if they’re having doubts. Remember though, experience in freelancing can distinguish you from other candidates, and might be what you need to get that edge over the competition.

 If you’re interested in freelancing, and you want more information, check out this interview with a freelance writer about what her job entails and how she got the position.

Izabella Blazevic is a student at La Trobe University, studying a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She enjoys sketching and reading fantasy novels, but her great passion is her love of writing.

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