Opinions expressed by toptecheasy.com contributors are their own.
I know what it feels like to be stuck in a career with no room for growth or an honest evaluation of your efforts within the company. While I had what many people would see as a successful career in public relations, I felt a long progression in my promotions, a lack of opportunities to grow in other areas of the field, and a lack of work-life balance. I started to lose the sense of purpose in my work. My personal story began when Covid-19 first hit; like many people, I lost my job, which sent me into a whirlwind of confusion and heartbreak.
Related: A successful career path doesn’t have to be linear
How I got loose
I had a moment to sink into the fear of job security, but then realized I was luckier than most. I was already freelancing, which was making more than I was making in my full-time job, and I was able to keep that up as I tried to figure out what my next move would be. Would I continue to freelance and maintain, or would I push myself to do more?
My next step came faster than I realized. After all, during the pandemic, I possessed a skill many companies needed most: public relations. I realized that this skill allowed me to work anywhere. In the past, my personal success in this area has been hampered, thanks to a full-time job that consumed much of my time with commutes and late nights. I realized I had enough clients to get started, with eight clients quickly growing to 15 in just a few weeks, spanning a variety of industries. It went so well that a young 29-year-old woman was able to build a growing business in the time of a global pandemic.
This is something I never would have considered three years ago and didn’t think was possible, but now it’s a reality with over 25 people on my team and more and more coming. When opportunities come your way and you realize that people want what you offer, you just don’t turn it down. You recognize this as a sign that it’s time to grow, your time to unlock your potential and take that leap into building a business. These opportunities come your way because people are drawn to what you offer. You need to invest in your vision and potential to realize that you have found something unique and something that companies want. This all starts with believing in yourself.
Related: 4 Tips to Overcome Career Transition Fear
How you can do it too
Some of the most common questions I get are “how have you changed your work situation?” “how did you get started with your hustle?” or “how do I market my skills?” As someone whose primary mission is to make an impact on others, I’m here to help. Now I realize that many people feel stuck in their careers, and in the time of the “Great Resignation” I want to guide you to feel less trapped and put you on a path where you can relaunch your career. to create. Here are my eight tips for getting started:
Remember we have more options than ever: Now there are more opportunities than ever to pick up a side gig and work on it from the comfort of your home. This makes it easier than ever to reshape your career and focus on the work that makes you happy.
Take the time to list what skills you possess, be good at and like to do: Jobs often require us to perform numerous tasks. In some we are good, in others we wish they were better or just don’t like them at all. Maybe you just haven’t had the chance to hone certain talents. Now you have the luxury of focusing on what you are good at and making money from that skill. If you don’t already have a skill you want to hone, don’t worry! Many sites offer courses that are free or minimal cost so you can gain essential knowledge to create your new side hustle!
Sign up for freelance sites: Join freelance sites like UpWork, Fiverr, ThumbTack, Freelancer, etc. Browse the types of jobs on their sites and then decide which area you want to focus on.
Make a pitch about yourself: Many of these freelance sites will ask you to write about your achievements and skills on your profile page and share your professional qualifications. It can be uncomfortable for some people to brag about themselves, but if you don’t share all the amazing things you’ve done, no one will know. Learn to be your own publicist. Be sure to include on your profile page what you can do for potential clients and show past success stories.
Prepare a cover letter template: You can quickly change a cover letter for different proposals you want to apply for and make simple edits per job posting. This saves you a lot of time.
Ask for reviews or referrals: On these sites, you can increase your chances of getting an opportunity by asking colleagues, past companies you’ve worked for, or other side gigs you’ve had in relevant spaces for their assessment of you on the platform. This builds your credibility and also builds the trust of potential clients in deciding to engage with you and ultimately hire you.
Research price points: When you put in the effort, there is always the question of how much you should charge per hour or per project for your skills. Many of these sites allow you to analyze what others are charging for similar fields. Starting a little lower in the beginning can help you break through to build your freelance roster, and once you’ve got a few reviews from current clients under your belt, you can move the needle up.
Start applying and put yourself on the map: Once you find a few gigs, you can really craft yourself, place your passions outside of your current career, and start charting a path for yourself that will make you happy.
Related: Do you feel unfulfilled in your work life? Here’s how to change that
Whether you want to try this until you find your next job, need extra income, or are considering freelancing as your new full-time job for more flexibility, these eight tips above will help you succeed. As Christopher Robbins says, “You are braver than you think, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”