Highly educated, well qualified and stuck in your entry-level position? It may be time to remove your roadblock of complacency and start creating your own opportunities. The job market is evolving, and millennials are moving towards more self-employment and independent consulting opportunities than ever before. So what avenues should you take to get there?
Fresh out of my Master’s program, the “9 to 5” life was on my radar but I slowly realized I wanted to create my own schedule while executing my knowledge in the public relations and digital space. For a current client, I started as a blog contributor. After lending my social media recommendations, a proposal was written and they became a client. With this said, speak up and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You never know where it may lead you (or what client you may gain).
Leverage your LinkedIn (and other social media platforms)
Your LinkedIn profile can do one of two things – propel your career forward or stop it dead in its tracks. If you want to move beyond the cubicle, you need to do more than just having a LinkedIn profile. The same goes for your other social media platforms. Engage with those you have connected with, comment in group discussions and share relevant industry information.
I ended up doing public relations for a soon-to-be launched web series because I met the producer through Twitter, connected on LinkedIn and built rapport offline. Having a great photo, bio and automated posts aren’t enough. Schedule one to two hours each day for online engagement. Trust me, you will see how your career will begin to take off.
Write, Write and Write Some More
Writing makes your creative thoughts tangible and can help you to build your personal brand, as well as effectively communicating with your clients. Think about it, a great blogger knows how to navigate from point to point, a skill set needed when writing client reports. Get out and put pen to paper or, in our days, fingers to keys, and learn to do it well. Suggested writing books: The Associated Press Stylebook, On Writing Well and Woe is I.
After all this, you may be energized to take the necessary steps towards self-employment but there is your lingering question – what are the risks?
Thinking about healthcare, your job fitness perks and your 401(K)? Don’t worry. There are plenty of resources out there for independent workers to succeed. For example, Freelancers Union is a great community that provides resources, co-working spaces, various member discounts and healthcare.
New opportunities are staring you in the face and it’s time for you to grab it. If you’re ready to pack up your cubicle and take the life-long vacation into self-employment, you have to begin creating your own path.