Are you an expert? To you have an unusually awesome talent? Why not become a freelancer?

A freelancer is a self employed person who works for a variety of companies in a specific niche. Freelancers are often called independent contractors. They seek out their own work and are almost always available to work. Since they work under their own name, they don’t have to set up a proper business.

Freelancers typically work their own hours from a location of their choice. They can work as little or as much as they want and ultimately trade off of their talent and reputation. Some freelancers can make up to 6 figure salaries – others make enough to pay a few bills.

Freelancing is great career option. It’s wise to start freelancing slowly. Use it as a way to supplement your other job. If you become super busy, you can always commit to freelancing full time. You can freelance in a wide variety of niches. Most freelancers focus on writing. Others specialize in graphic design, web development, marketing, blogging, editing, translating, or coding.

To break into the world of freelancing, this is the traditional route to freelance success:

  • Write. Design. Create. – Do what you do. And do it a lot. It’s up to you to constantly create content. Take your best work and use it as your portfolio – just because you weren’t paid for your work doesn’t mean it can’t be a part of your portfolio. Your work is your talent. Do a good job and show it.
  • Create A Website or Blog – After you have a bit of quality content, showcase it via your web presence. Let the world know about it. Market it through your social media outlets (Hint: It’s pretty easy to link your web presence and social media accounts).
  • Establish Your Rates - Even if your starving, you can’t work for peanuts. You deserve to get paid what you are worth. Do not work for free! You can consult other freelancer rates to see what they charge, so you can be competitive. Unfortunately if charge nothing, people expect nothing.
  • Find Freelance Jobs – Hit up your network to see if anyone needs of your services. Try cold calling companies. It’s not fun, but it can be effective. It takes confidence and talent to sell yourself. You can always enlist the help of websites like Guru or Elance to market your skills – but be careful of clients who don’t want to pay a decent wage. Most freelance projects are short term contract jobs not long term projects.
  • Market Yourself – After you have a few paying gigs under your belt, it will be easier to market your skills. Add your new work to your portfolio (if you’re allowed), publish positive feedback on your blog, start a newsletter, and continue to network.
  • Write. Design. Create. – Ideally you will find a regular and consistent paying gig. If not, always keep creating, writing, or design to continually hone your skills and create useful content. Often you can do this and then see if people will purchase your work.

Freelancing is an awesome career choice. Before you quit your day job, be sure to test the freelance waters for your niche. If things are going well, escape the office and start freelancing full time.

Job interviewers absolutely love the question, “what is your biggest weakness?” Have you heard it before? If you’ve ever had a job interview you probably have. It’s probably the most common interview question and is definitely one you need to prepare for.

Identifying your weaknesses is  tricky. You need to be honest, but you still don’t want to make yourself look bad. Unfortunately you can’t plead the 5th either. This is why you need to give this question some serious thought before you’re put in the hot seat. It’s easier to plan out this answer than an answer to one of these off the wall interview questions.

Google the question and you’ll find all sorts of strategies to answer this question. The best approach is simple. Here is how Mac’s List suggests you answer the age-old “what is your biggest weakness” question:

  • Address The Obvious – Identify your weakness and how it relates to the job.
  • Reframe As A Positive – Give your weakness a positive spin.
  • Draw On Context – Show how your weakness is actually a strength in some situations. Use a specific example.
  • Highlight Improvement – Explain how you realized this was your weakness and how you have adapted it into a strength.

Ultimately it’s up to you to turn your weakness around and to use it to make you look good. It’s a challenging task, but if you can do it, your interview will feel like smooth sailing. Practice prior to your interview so that you don’t stumble over your words.

Get more job interview tips on JobMonkey

If you’re really having trouble identifying your weaknesses, feel free to use this cheat sheet. It’s meant to help jog your memory or at least give you an idea of why you’re weak in a certain area. Try to have a story that backs up your reasoning in case you’re asked during an interview. Here are a few common weaknesses:

  • Impatience
  • Trouble delegating
  • Organizational Issues
  • Language Skills
  • Cautious
  • Uncompromising
  • Nervous in front of large groups
  • Lack of job specific skills
  • Sensitive
  • Overly helpful
  • Overly critical
  • Suspicious
  • Talkative
  • Procrastinator

Use this list to help you brainstorm your weaknesses. Then take your personal weakness and apply it to the process above to help you prepare for your next interview. You know it’s coming, why not be prepared. Are you ready to answer the question? What is your biggest weakness?

You can think of your answer while you apply for jobs on the JobMonkey Job Board

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