Perhaps it is a dilemma for all part-time freelancers who cling to their day jobs for their health benefits or financial stability: when is it worth it – and when is it a really bad idea – to go freelance full-time?

Here are some tips to help you know whether or when you can and should commit to freelance work as your full-time job.

You Should Be a Full-Time Freelance Writer If…

  1. You are this guy and you can bank 6 figures every year (yes, it is possible as a freelancer but probably not very common!). Proof that not all freelance writers are impoverished and starving. But alas, if we all knew we could make 300k/year writing we would not need an article to tell us to quit our stupid day jobs already.
  2. You have actually found a way to get paid to write before. Unless you have the financial security to up and quit your day job (and spend potentially a considerable amount of time with no income) it is probably unwise to go freelance full-time without any experience. It can take time to learn the ins and outs of making money as a freelance writer – start with sites that provide reliable payment to build an online resume.
  3. You can handle some uncertainty with your income. Even the best freelance writers have to be comfortable with the risk of a less stable income than salaried work provides. When you are out making your own opportunities, you have to be comfortable with the idea that you won’t have a steady or reliable figure of income from time to time.
  4. You can effectively be your own boss. Being a freelancer takes discipline, and unless you can be your own taskmaster – keeping yourself honest and committed about the time you devote to your craft – you may be doomed for freelance failure.
  5. You hate your job and/or traffic and you love working in your pajamas. I must say that the perks of freelance writing from home are quite good…If the day job is driving you insane it may just be time to go for the (freelance) gold.

Freelance Work at Home

You Should NOT Be a Full-Time Freelance Writer If…

  1. Your highest level of productivity when at home involves only popcorn and Oprah.
  2. You get exhausted at the thought of being responsible for finding and even competing for 100% of your work.
  3. You don’t know how to write things people want/need/can’t write themselves.

Not exactly secrets to the universe, perhaps, but hopefully some valuable insight all the same…


I hear good things about guest blogging – drumming up interest in your own work and webpage, even getting paying gigs sent your way – and I’m acting on it.

Here are a few of my most recent guest blogging successes – be sure to check them out!

Now all I need is a Twitter account…and a more active Facebook presence…and an iPhone to be able to keep track of it all!


by Michal Marcol

Definitely Not Me, But You Get the Point

Having officially begun a research endeavor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I have found myself repeatedly requested to supply a “CV” – a Curriculum Vitae” – and decided that from now on, I shall comply.  Maybe it will help me get a job somewhere down the line without having to compile a CV overnight.

Previously, I had contented myself with the simple resume – short, to the point, and never more than two concise pages (one of which was expendable).  I rotated out my oldest or most irrelevant experiences every time I had something new to add, and each detail was customized to best portray my skill set for the position for which I was applying.

What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

Initially, the primary difference appears to be length and thoroughness.  In some areas of the world, the two words may be interchangeable, but in the US, “CV” is often used to describe a document that records every significant career experience, publication, research endeavor, education and certification, and other relevant tidbit about the individual that might display favorable characteristics.

In the world of research, writing, and universities, it appears that CVs are the standard currency for conveying information about experience and qualifications.  They function as a portfolio and a more extensive representation of accomplishments.

Contents of a CV

After performing some basic research, I found that CVs typically contain the following categories, often in-depth:

  • Contact Information and Citizenship
  • Employment History and Responsibilities/Achievements
  • Education
  • Continuing Education and Professional Training
  • Professional Certifications
  • Publications or Condensed Portfolio
  • Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments
  • Professional Memberships and Societies
  • Research Experiences (as applicable)
  • Relevant or Significant Volunteer Experiences
  • Teaching Experiences (as applicable)
  • Mentoring Relationships

The Purpose of a Curriculum Vitae

The benefit of a CV over a resume, in my opinion, includes the opportunity to keep a running, complete tally of qualifications and accomplishments that demonstrate your full range of experiences.  It should function as a portfolio or a record of your professional (and sometimes extracurricular) endeavors.

The style and order of your CV may depend on the type of career you are trying to pursue and which characteristics or experiences you would like to highlight or display upfront to a potential client or new boss.

How Do You Write a CV?

When in doubt, write it down.  Write out all of your professional and scholarly experiences in an organized fashion, divided by category.  If you later determine you have too much information or some truly irrelevant experiences included, you can always weed it out prior to submission to a potential employer.

I looked at the CV of my lab’s principle investigator when creating mine and found the process relatively simple (the only trouble I had was in recalling everything to write down!).  Once I have it all polished and complete, I will be tailoring it for Elance and LinkedIn.  I definitely suggest following a template for the style, content, and depth of your own CV so that you can go through each category of the example as you create your own, as well as to get a feel of what is appropriate for your field or experience level.

Good luck!

Blog of the Day!

January 8, 2012


Hooray!

One of my most recent writing endeavors involves a new blog at Patch.com, which has been selected as Cleveland Heights’ Blog of the Day!

The article goes over the basics of eating to beat the winter blues and also gives some suggestions on local places to eat said deliciousness.  Righteous.  Check out the full-length article here, and thanks for reading!

 

Guest Blog Posts

November 19, 2011


As promised, here is the beginning list of my posts, as accepted by these awesome blogs.  Check them out, and explore the rest of the content on these very cool sites.  Let me know what you think!  Most of them are about eating to beat the winter blues, eating to have healthier skin, and even writing as therapy!  Happy reading!

Lil Veggie Patch

Anastasia Pollack

JerseyBlonde

Style Me Swanky

My Perfect Line

HealthAdvice4Life

Your Lighter Side

Read to find out how to eat and write your way to a healthier you!

 


So I officially made my first post on wikiHow, and had to learn the wiki formatting all over again. It was a bit painful at first, but I eventually worked it out and now I’m just pleased I can put wiki skills on my resume!

I literally spent hours and hours on the Lose Weight Fast article, tightening it up, revising it, adding relevant content and removing irrelevant info, and lo and behold, I got a thumbs up from another member!

Lose Weight Fast

by Michelle Meiklejohn

Then about two seconds later someone reverted all 20 painstaking edits back to the original.

First, I cried. Then I remembered all changes are stored in the wiki page histories. And THEN, I found out that newbies’ changes automatically get undone to prevent edits like the one I saw earlier in the history of the page (someone had erased the article and put something along the lines of “I just saw a chippermunk outside!”).

I suppose their regulations are there for a reason, after all…

Anyway, I revved up my profile a tad and made sure my future edits wouldn’t be rolled back – then fixed up the article again, making the info actually fit the title of the piece. I suppose we’ll see how long these changes last!

All in all, it was an exciting foray into the adventurous land of Oz. Or wikiHow. Either way, I brushed up on my wiki skills and learned a lot about European weight loss body wraps and the HCG diet! Priceless. 🙂

Hourly Contract Work

October 10, 2011


I had been a bit afraid of trying out an hourly job on Elance, primarily because they are normally for virtually no dinero.  But recently I took a stab at it and won the bid, and it has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve done on Elance.com to date.

Looking forward to doing more in the future. In the meantime, I’m happy to keep working on my list of pregnancy and nutrition articles – being a freelance writer means I get to learn a ton of stuff and get paid for it!

Can’t beat it.