For the sixth theme day, we’ll be talking about new beginnings, graduations, and anything this year’s recent graduates would find relevant. Check out Darlene’s theme post to see what my colleagues have to say!
But before you do that, let me share my experiences over the previous year. It’s just over a year since I “entered the world,” graduating last March, and began my career. As a fresh graduate, I decided to immediately freelance exclusively. Meaning I didn’t even look for a job, since I’d be working for myself. Unfortunately, turns out that wasn’t the best move I made.
Thing started out well enough. I started making some computer models for a real–estate company, was able to land a regular writing gigs covering gadgets (a personal favorite), executed some small–scale design projects, and discovered the wonderful world of blogging. Along the way, however, I realized that only more structure and guidance would allow me to grow as a person and a contract worker. I felt that my skills were stagnating, because
There was so much I needed to learn, and even if doing things would eventually teach, the faster route is always having someone or something show the ropes. Which is why I applied for a job.
I knew that if I relied only on myself for improvement, I’d end up nowhere. Though a corporate lifestyle is ultimately the antithesis of a freelancer, it still carries many advantages that will help beginning freelancers get off the ground. You’re sure of a regular salary, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ll feed yourself while you concentrate on improving your skills. And your employer may enjoy certain perks that you can use to further your freelance career. My first job at a gadget distribution company meant I was constantly at local product launches, able to track the trends that let me be a better technology blogger. Working for the man and freelancing aren’t mutually exclusive.
I decided to enjoy the best of both worlds, realizing that it was too early for me to make a living exclusively from freelancing. As a fresh graduate, there so many things I didn’t know. The great thing about the corporate world is that you can learn so much, literally at your company’s expense.
In short, whether or not you’ve graduated recently, you should consider living off only freelancing once you’ve gained years of experience. And the corporate path is a good way to do this. Work at the right 9 to 5, and you’ll learn so many things, while getting a regular salary that will help you build a financial base to support you when you decide to strike it out on your own.