There are many steps to be taken when you decide to live abroad, and getting professional experience is one of the most important ones. Becoming a successful freelancer is the first step to achieve it!
Of course, before starting to look for a job, you must first have a visa that allows you to work in the country in which you choose to live. But how to start over from scratch? First, prepare a globalised CV that addresses the needs of the market internationally. Then just start your job hunting.
From my own experience, working as a freelancer was the first safe work opportunity. So, it was also my first option when I moved to England six years ago.
As I had experience as a language teacher, for example, I was looking for work as an interpreter and translator. The field is vast. Especially for people who live in London, for example.
In my case, I got a position as an interpreter in Portuguese in Birmingham. There were not many people looking for a Portuguese Interpreter here. But as a freelancer, I could get some work at least. And that was my first job in the UK.
But where do you find this type of job? Internet, of course. There are plenty of websites specialised in freelance jobs. As well as websites like Indeed and Reed are filled with opportunities. And depending on the language you speak; the offer is even greater. This is one of the advantages of being a foreigner living in another country.
Being a freelancer can be also a great opportunity to lose your shyness and become more confident to get other types of jobs in the future. After all, you learn to deal with cultural differences when you enter the foreign job market. And there’s still plenty of spare time to socialise, study and travel.
Another way to get freelance work was to collaborate with websites. As I am a journalist, I decided to improve my writing skills in English by writing restaurant reviews in Birmingham, where I live. This experience led me to be a Freelancer, for two months, on the Yelp site, for example. It was a superb experience. So, this way, my curriculum was being improved as fast as I imagined, giving me much more writing opportunities. Like this opportunity of writing for EazyCity, which I love.
- There are several freelance work platforms on the internet that serve a variety of areas. Create a profile on these websites for networking and who knows, it will help you to get a first job quickly. From Marketing to IT, there are vacancies for everyone.
- Remember that being organised is crucial to meet deadlines and also track your payments. There will be times, that a customer may “forget to pay you”. Write down all kinds of work you do, mainly because freelancers are usually paid later than expected and in different days of the month. Don`t lose the track of the many pieces of work you may provide!
- Establish a work routine. Or you will become a slave to your own work place. One must understand that being a freelancer does not mean working 24/7. Especially if you work remotely.
- Networking is a good alternative to finding more and more freelance jobs. I also recommend people for jobs that I was doing in the past and I was also recommended for other jobs, by other friends. Networking is essential to increase your work experience.
- Working as a freelancer usually generates a higher income than in conventional jobs. Yes, it is true. But you need to research carefully the jobs you apply for, or some employers may want to pay you less than expected.
- The best part of being a freelancer is having freedom in choosing clients and work schedules. And you can escape from the traffic, boredom of offices and avoid the shenanigans of a conventional 9/5 job. That is great!