As a student, when I let people know I’m also freelancing as a writer, they often don’t take me seriously. However, it’s becoming a more common choice for millennials to work for themselves and to steer away from the standard 9-5 job. The jokes about being unemployed and sleeping all day are just myths and it’s time they are left behind. This post debunks 5 of those myths because there’s lots more to freelancing as a student than you might think.
- You can slack because you don’t have a boss
Technically, it’s true. I don’t have a boss. There isn’t a physical one to micro-manage me or tell me what to do, but I do still have a boss. Myself. To be successful at freelancing, staying disciplined and understanding your own processes and tools are important. Yes, it can be stressful, but less so if you manage your time correctly and remain organised. You’re essentially the boss, the HR department, the owner and accountant.
- You find it difficult to find work and earn money
It’s true, being a freelancer is tough but it’s definitely not impossible to be a successful, well-earning freelancer. You just need to be savvy about how you market yourself and how you save your money. There are great tools that you can use to help manage your finances, and there are plenty of resources online that can help you get your name out there. Here’s one of my published articles about avoiding social media mistakes!
- You can wear what you want because you don’t have a dress code
Yes, working from home means you don’t necessarily have to dress in trousers and shirts every day. However, there are times when I do need to leave the house. Whether it’s for client meetings, going to a networking event or attending the odd lunch date. So, there are still times when we have to dress appropriately. Being in the legal sector, I still wear a suit from time to time.
- Working from home means you never leave the house
As I mentioned earlier, client meetings and networking events are just a couple of reasons why I may leave the house. Other times, I’ll go to work in a co-working space for a change. Working on a laptop means that I can essentially work anywhere, even somewhere with a nice view.
- You never have a social life
I’m a social person and like to get involved at University, but I find it’s all about managing your time well. With freelancing, I make sure that I don’t take on too much that it risks clashing with my university work. Most of the time, I tend to have only one job on the go, two at a stretch. I keep a schedule on my phone and stick to it, while still having enough time to enjoy time with my friends outside of university work.
Here’s my advice if you’re thinking about freelancing at university:
Do what you love
Being a student, people always question why I choose to do freelancing on the side because they feel I can’t manage it. They make assumptions of things I can and can’t do. But if it’s something I love doing I always make sure I find the time for doing it. At the same time, it’s helping me earn a little extra cash and improve my credentials and knowledge. That’s a win-win situation.
Combine your skills
In my degree course, we cover a lot of legal topics, for example, employment, dispute resolutions and conveyancing. I’ve always been fond of writing since I studied English in college. I know that by combining the two, I’ll have a long, illustrious and enjoyable career. Getting into the legal sector is a passion that I’d like to pursue for many years. In the long-term, perhaps after retirement, I’ll be able to fall back on my freelancing skills for a chance of escapism whilst earning too.
Freelancing is definitely something worth considering while a student. These so-called myths really are what they say on the tin. It takes hard work and dedication but once you get your feet off the ground, it creates new possibilities for your job and career.
Thanks for this guest post go to our friend, Jamie Costello, an aspiring freelance legal writer working on his portfolio while at University. He’s already had experience with Manchester solicitors, Gorvins, to develop his knowledge of the sector and further his career aspirations.