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UMGC Career Connection
Leveraging Your Skills for Freelancing

Rhoda Smackum
By Rhoda Smackum

If you’re thinking about becoming a freelancer, you’re not alone! A freelancer refers to someone who is self-employed and provides a service to clients and the community is growing. Statista, a business data platform, predicts that by 2028 there will be over 86 million freelancers. If you’re interested in freelancing but not sure where to begin, continue below for five strategies to help you get started. 

Assess Your Skills

Complete a self-analysis to help you put together a personal profile to guide your career decisions. This will help you identify what skills you have and what you can sell to a potential client. Check out a few resources that will help you determine what you have to offer; Steppingblocks is a career exploration tool located on CareerQuest, and Skills Assessment on can help you find the best career for the skills you already have. 

Determine Your Niche

Next up? Locate the industries or career fields that are hiring freelancers with your skillset. Check out Top 10 Industries for Freelancers for more insight. 

Find Opportunities

After you have identified your marketable skills, it’s time to find opportunities matching those skills. Visit CareerQuest and these freelance job websites to find project-based opportunities. 

Build Your Business

Staying organized and on track is vital to succeeding as a freelancer; check out a few essential tools such as a website, time management tools, time tracking apps, and invoicing software that can help make freelancing easier for you. 

Provide Your Best Work

Aim to be customer focused, which is simply putting your customer first. Always aim to provide the best service you can and go above and beyond to show your customer you intend to keep their business for the long run. Be sure to monitor your communication channels and communicate effectively to get the job done quickly and accurately. 

The process of becoming an independent contractor or freelancer can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips, and, as always, keep in mind UMGC’s Career Services team is here to help you plan and achieve career success. Visit CareerQuest to set up an appointment with a UMGC Career Advising Specialist today.

Rhoda Smackum is a manager in the Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations at University of Maryland Global Campus. She has approximately 28,000 hours of work experience in the field of career development. Ms. Smackum enjoys working collaboratively, in partnership with students and alumni to identify career issues, match values with career choices and obtain meaningful work. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Bowie State University and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) and an Associate Certified Career Coach.