There’s a stigma associated with being a Freelancer…Overcome it!

There’s a stigma associated with being a Freelancer. While it’s considered a goal by many employees to strike out into the freelance world, some freelancers are actually seeking jobs as employees for stability.

However, these same freelancers often find themselves rejected merely for the fact that they are freelancers. Here’s some of the main reasons why that is, and how to overcome them.

Lack of Verifiable Job History

Working from Home

Working from Home (Photo credit: edgeplot)

Because freelancers handle a number of clients over a small period, and most of those clients are one-off, it can be hard to show you are capable of a stable job.

Instead, focus in your resume and cover letter of some of the long-term things you have done for clients. Alternatively, if you performed a major achievement for a client, be sure to write it down on your resume, and include it in your portfolio. And always make sure your portfolio is up-to-date.

Lack of Verifiable Experience

Sure, you can handle social media, copywriting, SEO, design, and development, all while

My Work Bag

My Work Bag (Photo credit: pennuja)

discussing the literary merit of The Hunger Games over a game of chess with Big Blue. But where’s the proof? If you haven’t worked with one consistent company over the years, this might be an issue.

The best way to overcome this problem is to write case studies on some of your freelance projects. These studies detail

Dependability

One of the greatest advantages of being a freelancer is the ability to move from one client to another. Since you’re not an employee, you don’t need to worry about office politics or drama, and you can pull out at anytime you wish.

Reliable Drugs

Reliable Drugs (Photo credit: grahamc99)

But that permeability can backfire on you as well. Because you’re not as attached to the company as a full employee would be, employers believe you may not be as motivated to sick around as a regular worker would. Freelancers also may have multiple clients too, which puts a damper on the idea of you fully committing to a company. Lastly, because companies are inconsistent on their freelancer needs, they end up simply coming and going, disrupting the way work is done around the office.

To counteract this, offer assurance that you will fulfill all ends of the contract, and point to cases where you did just that. If need be, offer a clause where you forfeit part of the fee if you have to leave the service of the client. You can also do a free test service, but be wary of that; some less-than-legitimate employers will steal your work.

References

ALWAYS ask your clients if they can be references. I like to do this after I’ve been with them for a month (Less time of course for smaller projects,) but each reference helps employers know that you know what you’re talking about, and that you are dependable.  Be sure that you use references that are easy for prospective employers to research, as it makes it easier to prove you worked for them.

Your turn: What are some ideas you have to overcoming the freelancer stigma? 

This post is an entry into a writing contest being hosted by Emily Suess. writers' week writing contest

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