Friday, January 23, 2009

Self-Employment Choices (for me)

One of the things I've wondered, since I've been unemployed, is this: am I really doing all I can to find more freelancing gigs?

The answer, simply, is: no.

I'm not a sales person. The thought of cold calling is anathema to me.

I've also thought about pursuing more of the hobby-like income streams I've done this past year, namely basic website design and development and jewelry making. There's also pet-sitting. In addition, there are sites I could write articles for that would pay either small amounts or residual amounts based on article views. So sure, I could probably eke out a living spreading myself across small, low-paying, unreliable side jobs. Yet, I don't want to merely eke out a living.

None of these things will quickly earn me as much money as I'm accustomed to receiving each week. Certainly not without a lot of aggressive selling of myself (shudder) and legwork.

Now I know full well that jobs and clients aren't just going to magically appear and fall in my lap. If only! However, I know that building a new business(es) for things I have less formal training...well, let's just say that this economic climate would not make these things great ideas. In addition, the jewelry option requires a certain investment in materials, and I'd rather not get further into the financial hole [with jewelry making] than I already am.

Part of me wonders "if I just had more hustle..." would that make a difference. Sure, it probably would. But if I write articles for low or pay-per-view rates, and if I dabble in a little of this and a little of that, would I be compromising myself? I've started to think that I would.

Finally, I also won't work for significantly sub-market rates. I've seen ads that from companies that want a technical writer for $10/hour -- on contract, or people that want article writers for .02/word. Both of those are ridiculously, offensively low pay rates. I will write for basically free for this blog because I enjoy it, but I won't write for someone who won't recognize and pay for the value my writing.

As I've written, I really, truly would prefer to continue freelancing. However, I will likely end up doing agency work, or I may even end up signing on as a FTE somewhere. I don't want to live hand to mouth. Also, agency or FTE work will help me to quickly rebuild my savings coffers, and then cushion me when I go back to freelancing (because my freelancing days are by no means at an end...just looking at a temporary suspension).

1 comment:

Fabulously Broke said...

I would love to do something like have a steady job and freelance on the side, but as a consultant that's impossible.

You on the other hand, can do that, and I think it'd go to ease your peace of mind until you build a rep so that people fall into your lap instead of you having to cold call.

Fabulously Broke in the City

"Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."