I got into freelance out of need rather than choice. I graduated college in 2009. A horrible time to make that kind of life decision. No one was hiring, not really. And although I had my bachelor’s degree, not one employer was looking in my direction. When I applied for jobs, I was definitely all about that spray-and-pray method hoping someone worthwhile would see my resume — my potential, if that could be seen — and hire me. Or at least, call me for an interview.
I did a get a few interviews, though. To jobs I did not want. Like those experimental marketing jobs. Or those multi-level marketing insurance companies. All of which were at 20 miles from home. So, if I had committed to one of them, I would have to wake up a few hours earlier to ensure I was on the road on time to beat or manage along with the traffic to go to a job I would eventually quit. Didn’t make sense to me.
Not going to lie, there were times where I had kind of figured what the company was really about in the waiting area or lobby, and would as discreetly as I could sneak out. Of the office! Of being interviewed. I know it sounds foolish. It felt foolish. Y’know, why didn’t I just have the balls to tell them, “You know, this shit is not for me. Sorry for wasting your time.” But I didn’t. I felt like I had to always yes to every opportunity and decline very cowardly what turned out not to be.
Not no more!
Age is a wonderful thing. It gives you wisdom. It gives you grace. It gives you backbone.
But even with me sneaking out of interviews while at the interview, I still needed money. I had student loans to pay, car insurance, and this little thing I’ve been addicted to for a while — FOOD! So, I climbed out of my pride and began to reach out to friends, former college classmates, family — anybody I knew who I thought could help me. It started working. Ish. I got part time work. No, not a job. Work.
I worked for a friend of my grandmother’s who ran a daycare out of her home. I worked for a former high school English teacher of mine. Doing menial or administrative tasks because they themselves did not have time to do it themselves. Then a light bulb clicked in my head. If they need these services, I’m sure others do too. So, then came my own personal experimental marketing with Craig’s List, Back Page, Oogle, and a few other local online directories that no longer exist.
It was very hard in the beginning. Finding the right words that would strike a cord with someone who would want to pay me. Finding someone to pay me. But when it did and I got work, it felt great. And I liked that feeling. Of putting myself out there like a fishing line and getting a bite on my hook. It became almost as addicting as food.
So I kept it at. Changing my strategy. Changing my services. Freelancing has never fully paid the bills (oh, but one day it will), but it looked great on my resume. And it later helped get me those little things I missing earlier after college — jobs! So, since about 2011, I’ve been working and freelancing simultaneously. And I love it. With jobs taking away so much control and freedom due to “policy”, it’s nice to have an outlet where you are the boss and your time really does matter and what you have to say and share always valued.