Your teen years are a time filled with fresh knowledge and new experiences. Often, along with education, teenagers try to pick up part-time or seasonal work to begin generating income, stash away savings for college, develop a professional network, and so on.
If you are or you know a teenager that is preparing to launch their professional career, here are a few solid reasons that you should consider doing so in the freelance sector of the market.
You Can Make Good Money
Often the idea of “getting a job” as a teenager revolves around making minimum wage while doing grunt work at the bottom of the corporate ladder. As a freelancer, though, you’ll be paid based on the quality of your work rather than your age or even your experience at times.
While pay is often low when getting started, many freelancing options can quickly pay very well, especially if an individual is motivated and a fast worker. The average freelancing hourly rate is a robust $21 per hour and many niche freelance activities, such as writing or graphic design, can often reach much higher rates.
You Can Launch a True Career
It’s always helpful to gain experience through work. However, getting paid to labor in an environment with clients and peers who respect you for your work can have a particularly tremendous effect when you’re just starting out by:
- Helping you create a portfolio of work that you can use to propel your career forward.
- Allowing you to build your network and rub shoulders with other established professionals in your field.
- Give you access to valuable peer-to-peer experience and knowledge.
As a teenager, your first job is always an exciting chance to start your career. Doing it through freelance work, in particular, allows you to start as strong as possible.
You Can Develop Responsibility
Along with good pay, working in a service marketplace naturally teaches you the value of responsibility in a way that a traditional job cannot. While any job requires arriving at work on time, learning how to dependably execute various tasks, and so on, being a freelancer adds an extra layer of responsibility simply because the buck stops with you.
As a self-employed individual, you’ll be saddled with the responsibility of finding work, billing clients, maintaining productivity, and so on. You won’t have a boss breathing down your necks, correcting mistakes, or pushing you to do better. You must learn to do so all on your own if you want to succeed.
You Can Gain Confidence
Contract work is an all-or-nothing game. The lack of a salary means if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid. The lack of an employer means if you’re not out searching for clients when necessary, you won’t have steady work. If you don’t set money aside for taxes, you can find yourself in big trouble when April 15 — tax time — rolls around each year.
Navigating all of these added responsibilities as a teenager can help inspire a unique sense of confidence and business savvy that simply cannot be reproduced in a salaried position.
For example, young or not, if you’re going to find work and get paid for it regularly, you’ll need to develop confidence as you interact with potential clients. You must ensure that a customer puts down a deposit upfront, pays on time, and understands the consequences if they make a late payment — all of which require a unique sense of professional assurance and poise.
You Can Stay On the Forefront of the Future of Work
Finally, working as a freelancer requires you to develop and maintain a growth mindset. If you aren’t willing to proactively and continually learn about the latest advancements in your industry, you’ll quickly fall behind and find getting work difficult.
This constant learning and growth enable you to stay at the forefront of the future of your business through:
- Embracing new technology that can help your freelancing efforts.
- Always working on developing in-demand skills.
- Remaining proactive and willing to be a difference-maker in your field.
The cutting-edge mentality required to float a freelancing career over the long-haul can perfectly position you to take advantage of industry evolution and trends as they unfold in the future.
Using Freelancing to Launch Your Teenage Career
If you’re just prepping to dive into your career, think twice before you pick up a grinding job on a night shift making minimum wage at the nearest fast food joint. If you try to establish a foothold in the freelance world instead, you can:
- Potentially make more money.
- Quickly expand your professional network.
- Gain valuable experience and build your portfolio.
- Acclimate to entrepreneurial responsibilities.
- Build confidence in yourself and your abilities.
- Remain at the forefront of your industry’s future.
With so many clear advantages and so little to lose beyond a rejected application and a little bit of your time, it’s difficult to ignore the option to freelance as a teenager. So check out some of the best websites for beginner freelancers. As you do so, try to see if contract work is an option that you should consider as you try to get your career off the ground.