Unlike working as a barista at the local cafe, doing freelance work only requires a computer, a strong Internet connection and time management skills. If you are a talented writer, editor, artist or translator, there is a steady supply of work available.
Decide if earning money through freelance work is worth your time after reading the following benefits and disadvantages of freelancing.
Benefits of Freelance Work
Working from home. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, which can be found at most dorms or a library. Most work can even be done at a communal desktop in the computer lab.
You have flexible hours. Unlike a job like working at the gym with set hours, doing freelance work does not require a fixed schedule. For college students, a flexible schedule is ideal to fit around homework, extracurriculars and a social life.
Relatively easy work is available. I regularly write 500-word articles on a variety of subjects. Each article only requires a little bit of research, one rewrite and about two hours of work. Depending on the work, most jobs do not require all that much effort.
A variety of work is offered. I tend to do freelance writing, but I have expanded my horizons a few times to include editing academic papers. Even the topics vary widely. I’ve written about the best printer paper, transexuals in the fashion industry and the most romantic beach getaways for couples. You learn about subjects you would typically not bother to research on your own time.
Disadvantages of Freelance Work
The pay can be terrible. Since most freelance work is conducted online, minimum wage laws do not always apply. As a first-time freelancer, your pay can be as little as a dollar per 600-word article. If you are good, you will eventually be able to raise your hourly rate above minimum wage.
You need to have solid time management skills. Since the work is off-site, you can finish the work at your own pace. But failing to submit a project in on time may result in terrible feedback or a reduced payment. Sometimes when homework begins to pile up, it becomes difficult to even go to the gym for an hour, let alone write 10 articles.
The possibility of being scammed is higher when doing freelance work than a traditional job. You may do everything right, turn your work in on time and then your client disappears without paying. Your valuable time has all gone to waste. Some freelance websites have their own security mechanisms to lower that probability, but it still exists.
Freelance work is not for everyone, but it does offer quick and easy money while you are busy at college. Although I cannot pay off my college tuition by freelancing, I can pay for dinner out once a month or a new pair of shoes. Hello, new slippers!
By: Lisa Swanson | Image: Source