Even though I have a very interesting full time job, which pays the bills quite nicely, I’ve lately been looking into possibilities to expand my income streams beyond this monthly paycheck. Mainly because it would provide me with some extra money, which is always nice, but also as a means to prove myself that:
- I have skills that are worth money to people other than my employer and its clients, and
- I’m capable of turning these skills into profit outside of my daytime job.
I’m in no way looking to give up my regular job, at least not for the forseeable future, but rather to learn to market myself and earn a little bit of extra income while I’m at it.
Nowadays there a quite a few online platforms where employers and freelancers meet, such as http://www.elance.com and http://www.odesk.com. A while ago I registered on both these sites, set up a profile and started applying to jobs I could do from home, that matched my skills and that wouldn’t take too much time. I thought it would be a good idea to start out small and see how things go first, before trying to apply to bigger assignments.
The first thing I noticed is that there is lots and lots of competition! Most jobs get a lot of applications, at hourly rates I can’t (and won’t) compete with, because I can’t be bothered spending my precious time on a $5 an hour job. I’d rather read a good book or go running at that wage. Fortunately, there are good jobs to be found between the chaff, and I find myself applying to these quite regularly. These mainly involve skills that aren’t as widespread, such as fluency in Dutch and skills related to my daytime job.
After a few unsuccessful attempts and a pause due to a holiday, I managed to get my first positive response to an application this week. I’ll be writing a blog post (and potentially more) for a new blog on software testing, for which I receive a payment of a couple of $10 bills. It surely isn’t enough to quit my day job (would I want to), but it’s a start and one I am very happy with.
I’ll keep you updated on my further adventures in the world of freelancing side gigs, hopefully there will be more to report on soon enough!