Some students opt for working while studying because of financial reasons. Others want to get some real-life experience before graduation. In any case, freelancing is a good opportunity. It offers the chance to manage your schedule and develop some work skills that will come in handy.
Sure it is not going to be as easy as one would like. But it is completely possible to combine freelancing and studies effectively. In this article, you’ll find all the tips and tricks.
Evaluate your Resources
The first step is to look closely at your resources and what you can do. Start with time as it is one of the most valuable resources for students. There is never enough free time as the college curriculum can be quite dense.
Consider how much free time you have and what portion of it you can devote to work. Be realistic and acknowledge that things happen and that there might be unexpected changes. So do not get your schedule too tight. Leave some room for flexibility. Also, consider resources that can help you with the tasks you need to do.
These could be scheduling apps, digital calendars, or platforms like WritePaper that offer immediate assistance with college papers. It is a professional academic writing platform where you can get help with writing, editing, and proofreading your assignments. So in case you forgot about the essay deadline or need more time for other responsibilities, there is help.
Experienced authors can nail any type of paper in the shortest time. However, sometimes students need all the help they can get. And it is good to remember about such options.
Choose the Type of Job
Maybe you already know what you are going to do. But if you don’t, look into the most popular job opportunities for students. Think of your skills and experiences and how they correlate. Some of the options are:
- Graphic design;
- Software/web development;
- Photography or videography;
- Data entry;
- Selling your own products (artworks, soap, candles, etc.);
- Event planning, etc.
Base your choice on your interests, skills, and the time you have for freelancing. Also, if there is something that relates to your college major – it is a win. This way, you can get work experience and deepen your knowledge.
Learn to Manage Time
This one is going to be one of the most essential skills to train. You need to carefully manage your time so you are not skipping classes, doing projects, and getting the best out of your college life. Instead, create a digital calendar where you are put in all the tasks.
There are plenty of apps and platforms that help separate tasks, set priorities, and put reminders. Prioritize the things you need to do based on how important and urgent they are.
Always start with the most urgent and crucial tasks. If you deal with a big project, separate it into small steps.
And do not forget to schedule some time to rest and relax. Otherwise, you might end up burnt out and tired. Working without weekends can be detrimental to mental and physical health.
It might sound very tempting to do it all at once. However, studies show that multitasking is not effective and is harmful to cognitive functioning. So by doing two things at once, you are hurting your success chances.
Do one task at a time. Do not get distracted. It is going to be faster and more productive.
Work and Study Ethics
As your own boss, you need to establish a healthy work ethic and environment. It means that you need to create a comfortable space to study and work and maintain a reasonable balance. Some of the rules might be:
- Do not use your phone when working or studying for anything else;
- Turn off all the distractions like music or TV (unless you feel more productive studying to some tunes);
- Have a designated place for work;
- Set ground rules to not disturb you with people you share living with;
- Try to have a consistent schedule – wake up and go to bed at a certain hour, set freelancing at a particular time of the day;
- Take your responsibilities seriously.
All of that does not sound too exciting. But when you have strong ethics, it is much easier to concentrate on the job.
Set Reasonable Prices
One of the things about freelance beginners is that they do not know how to price their job. Know your value, and do not let others take advantage of you. But also do not aim higher than the reasonable market average.
Research similar positions and look at what people charge. Start with a middle range and go from there based on the demand and results. Try to make constant contacts and build strong relationships with customers. It is good to have returning ones.
Also, check your scholarships and grants. Some of them might have limitations on how much one can earn before they get reduced, or even declined. For instance, in some cases, if you earn more than $10,000, your college grant can be dismissed.
Be aware of that and make sure you do not go beyond the line.
Do Not Miss Classes
Sometimes it is easy to get swapped away by other responsibilities. Maybe you feel very excited about your project or earn some good money. So you might think it is a higher priority than a lecture. Do not go this way, as it will endanger your college success.
Remember that college is your top priority. Work around it. Use homework help or contact the professor to let them know about your situation. Clear and transparent communication can go a long way. In case there is an emergency, let the professor know beforehand and ask how you can make up for that.
Market Your Services
Whatever you are doing, it is essential to reach the target audience. Decide on what is your target group and find out what is the best way of communication. In the majority of cases, it is an online presence.
You can post your offers on freelance platforms, set up an account, and market there. Or you can create a designated personal website with a portfolio and all your works.
Have a clear message of what you are offering, how much you charge, and what people can get out of it. Build a network of customers, and look for referrals and recommendations. Developing your communication and interpersonal skills is essential for freelancing.
To stay healthy and productive, you need to take care of yourself. College on its own is enough stress. And when you add freelancing to the mix, it can be overbearing.
Take time to relax and unwind. Do not work 24/7, and do not forget about little things that make you happy and re-charged. Also, incorporate some stress-reducing techniques. These can be breathing exercises, meditation, physical activity, reading, dancing, etc. Choose what works for you.
Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition, a sleep schedule, and enough physical activity.
Some challenges may come from combining freelancing and college education. However, with the right approach and strong work ethic, you can be successful at both. Learn prioritization and time management.