Workers may want to consider freelancing
Currently, 35% of the workforce is involved in some type of freelance
work and by 2025 it will be 50% of US workers. Employers are hiring freelancers to find skills that aren't currently
available in house and to meet project demands without having to hire FTEs. If you are transitioning between industries,
freelancing may be a great way to keep up your skills and show value to a prospective employer. Here are some considerations
when evaluating if freelancing is a fit for you:
- Is it currently used in your
industry? This isn't a deal breaker, but it helps if you have examples of companies that have successfully used freelance
workers on projects currently or in the recent past. If not, do you have strong relationships within a company that would
be willing to introduce the idea to management with you as the ‘beta test'?
- Can you market your availability
electronically? Beyond the use of social media, does your industry have platforms and websites that allow freelancers
to share their portfolios and possible skills? Upwork® is a platform to check out where various skills are needed to support
- Be prepared to expand your skills. Freelancers are perceived as flexible and
sometimes more tech savvy than in house workers may be. If you are open to being a team member who adapts to situations with
an ‘I can learn it' attitude, companies will appreciate your skills to an even greater extent.
Increasing your skills can help build a more impactful resume
Job seekers looking for positions in different companies or
different industries, should evaluate how new skills may assist in creating a competitive advantage. Each industry will
have certain requirements for general skills, but what can you do to increase your chances of being selected for an interview
because of your specific skills?
- Computer/technological skills - Can you use a
Mac and PC? Would it help to expand your abilities with a certain program or software to move to a different
position or industry? Improving current computer skills or learning new technological ones can be viewed by employers
as a good sign that you are interested in continuing your professional development.
- Language skills
- Job seekers who don't have conversational skills in languages beyond English, such as Spanish, that
are useful for the workplace, should consider developing them. Communities are becoming more and more diverse
and employers value bilingual capabilities, even if the job description doesn't call for them. Consider options
available at the local library or free apps on your phone for a low-cost start to get language skills.
skills - Depending on your field, this may or may not be as important. The ability to speak confidently
in a group, whether it is a formal presentation or not, may assist your development into positions of greater responsibility
in managing larger projects or teams of people. Organizations such as Toastmasters® are great places to
not only gain speaking skills, but also to increase your confidence and network across various industries.