Working freelance hasn’t always been my dream job. In fact, I’m not sure it was ever really an option in my head. Yet at some point, I can’t even tell you when, I began to take it seriously. I was starting a freelance career out of college.
When I realized starting a freelance career out of college was something I wanted to pursue
It could have started during my senior year of college. I knew I didn’t want a job in my field of study, but I also knew it was important for me to just graduate and get a degree – I was already so close, I knew I could stick it out until the end, though I was beginning to get a little burnt out.
It could have started the summer after I “graduated” (walked). I was going to be off in London for a semester, completing my last two classes for my minor, and I had no way to make money, despite that fact that I’d be spending ALL of my savings, plus a good chunk of my father’s money. I decided to create some WordPress themes and list them on Etsy.
It could have been just this past holiday season, when I began to plan how I could expand my WordPress development organization as an on-the-side business until I found a/during my career.
It could have been just a few weeks ago, when I was interviewing for another job and was asked not once, but twice, why I wasn’t considering pursuing my WordPress development independently.
Why I know I love it
When I began to realize that a traditional career may just not be the right fit for me, I kept coming back to what I already had going for me, and what I was passionate about. Creating WordPress themes. Helping others fix up their sites. I’ve always had an interest in web design, and I’ve been a long-time user of WordPress, but recently it’s been the thrill of helping other blog owners, less savvy than I, make their blog look beautiful! And, though I know it’s vain, I love when I have the opportunity to work on a blog that receives tens of thousands of hits a day – that my designs reach that many people, are admired by that many people!
The one lesson I’ve always struggled with is just start it. I want to plan and plan and plan until I’m satisfied my plan has no flaws. By then, I’m probably bored with the project and ready to plan a new one, without even enacting the first. With this, I’m jumping in. I’m taking on clients, designing sites, and I don’t even have a perfect tracking system where my client and I can best communicate about everything. This just isn’t like me! What if starting a freelance career out of college doesn’t work out? What if I can’t support myself on it? What if some worry I couldn’t foresee happens, and ruins me? Yes, I’m worried that I’m not worried about the right things!
We’ll learn along the way
You know what? It’s OK to be stressed about those worries. It’s OK to learn along the way. It’s OK to not have the perfect system. I’ll get there. You’ll get there. Do the best you can. Make informed decisions. Be honest and sincere with your clients. If my clients ask me a question about something I’m not an expert on, I let them know I’m not an expert on it. I also let them know that I’ll look into it some more, and get back to them. I want to provide superior customer service and value for my consumers, even if I’m a little disorganized right now. Starting a freelance career out of college is intimidating, but when you get down to it, now’s the time to make this decision. Whether or not you’re living at home, it’s easier to make this attempt when you have free time, rather than not putting your all into it because you have a career to manage. Making the jump for a career to freelance is just as hard. Why not get a head start and give this a go first? That’s where I’m coming from.