Online Freelancing and Profesionalism
Freelancing work - Debunking a myth
Generally, newbie online freelancers are concerned with getting quick money to supplement their current earnings.
They are not particularly keen on working hard on a job that requires tremendous commitment, they will be shocked to find out that online freelance work is hardly a get rich quick scheme, consequently many dropout or at best end up at backwaters of the freelance world.
The purpose of the article is to make a case for online freelancing as an evolving profession rather than get-rich quick scheme, helping people against this kind of disillusionment.
So, the more important question is, can freelance work be considered a profession that can lead to a fruitful career? That will depend on the strategy adopted by the freelancer.
In comparison, we can follow the path taken by a traditional professional, for example an Accountant, a profession am well acquainted with.
We read in one of the accounting profession website, when you have finished your exams, gained the requisite practical experience, and demonstrated your grasp of ethics, you will be joining a profession that never stands still. You have signed on for a career that demands a commitment to lifelong learning, and this is no small undertaking; but in exchange, you can turn your hopes, dreams and expectations into a lifetime of professional challenges, opportunities and rewards.
Is it an exageration to hold online freelance work to a similar standard?
Elements of Professionalism
As a freelancer you will need to acquire the skills required for the jobs you hope to take up, If you want to do writing, you will need to have writing skills, if want to do transcription, you have to acquire the skill, you will need to be trained.
There are many ebooks and websites that train these skills, you have to choose carefully, especially those that offered by reputable individuals or institutions.
For example, training on article writing by walter akolo or E-lance unversity provides a good starting point for acquiring these skills.
As much as technical competence is important, professionals are not
typically defined by their competence. Technical competency is the
minimum requirement when considering whether or not someone is a
Professionals (1) demonstrate mastery in their work and (2) conduct
themselves in a way that engenders trust.
You can take up courses on ethics offered for free in many platforms like cousera, udemy etc. This will enhance your online reputation and will engender trust in your profile in online platforms.
Once you have done some training, acquired the necessary skills and knowledge, you are confident of taking up a position albeit to acquire experience before fully venturing into the online industry, one of the great places to start is iwriter for writers and speechpad for transcribers.
You can do the 'internship' for a minimum of one month on the respective skill, to see how your experiment with online world is going on.
The feedback will come after the first payment of 20 dollars from iwriter - how long has it taken you?, how good is your rating? how confident do you feel?
Venturing to Online world
Job hunting skills.
In the online world as in many traditional professions, job hunting for greener pasture can be simultenous as you continue to gain experience, for example, you can continue with your writing career in i.writer or your transcription career in speechpad which have low barriers to entry as you pursue jobs in other websites.
You need to acquire job hunting skills Just like the way an Accountant has to write great cover letters, Curriculum vitae, present themselves well in interviews.
The online freelancer also has to do similar things in online platforms - e-lance, freelancer and odesk.This will ensure their long term success.
Continuous professional development
As professional freelancer, through your experience, you are invariably a member of a community of freelancers who are striving to achieve same goals, a community of like minded people.
You need to know how to benefit fully from such community, to network, to know the latest developments in the industry, increase your knowledge, acquire some more skills.
The community of professionals will provide with a scale to position yourself for a successful career much like an accountant will benefit from the body of accountants for advancement of profession.
In conclustion, You have signed on for a career that demands a commitment to lifelong learning, and this is no small undertaking; but in exchange, you can turn your hopes, dreams and expectations into a lifetime of professional challenges, opportunities and rewards.