There is no question about it, the graduate job market is extremely tough to break into and it’s not going to get any easier. Small businesses are struggling to get money from banks and larger companies are having to downsize in order to keep making a profit.
There is a solution to all of this and it’s a relatively simply one:
Freelancing or remote working.
By forcing yourself on a company you’d like to work for and generating new revenue streams for them, you can earn your own income and do it all from working from home.
You’ll need to be prepared to work for minimum wage or nothing for the first couple of months but once you have proved you are indispensable, they will not want you to leave them.
Here’s how to get started:
Ask online businesses or local businesses what they are looking for help in at the moment. Are they looking for graphic design, web design, a partnership manager, some marketing help, a sales person or something else?
This simply requires sending them a prospective email. Explain who you are and what you are looking to do. Be honest, don’t tell them something you’re not or tell them that you can code websites when you can’t. Explain that you are very interested in their business and it would be great to come and have a chat about how you might be able to help them. Explain that you can be no immediate cost to them as you can work from home.
2. Use freelancing websites.
Peopleperhour.com and Studentgems.com can help you build up a portfolio of work. These sites are great for building up some reputation. Reputation is important when you work from home. Again, you need to be honest about what you can do for businesses and individuals on them. Don’t sugar coat.
3. Use online social networks to grow your presence.
Use Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to show your expertise. These sites are perfect for growing your own social networks and circles of influence to tell the world what you’re doing, what you can do and where you are going. Set up a presence on them immediately.
4. Create your own website
Make your own web site and carve out a niche for yourself, tell the world what you do!
5. Get some nice business cards done with Moo.com.
Appearance is everything! If you are not so worried about appearance then perhaps choose cheaper business cards at moo.com. People still do use business cards to network, so don’t be afraid to get yourself some!
1. Take some time to learn about the business you are now working for.
Who are their competitors? How could they improve their business model? Are there opportunities they are missing out on? Undoubtedly, there is no way you can study a business over night and this may take several months of working with them to understand what they are missing out on doing. Don’t be afraid to tell them on ways in which you think they could improve.
2. Be passionate when you speak or email them.
Show your enthusiasm that you are really looking to help them. Working with passionate and friendly people is so important in business. Again, don’t fake this – be genuine!
3. Try and find new income streams for the business.
Try and cut yourself a deal whereby they pay you a basic wage and you earn 30% of any new revenue stream you bring in. You need to build trust in your relationship, you do not want to be working for months for free. We would recommend trying to negotiate a basic wage as quickly as possible.
4. Be productive.
You might work from home if you’re freelancing, you could working in their office. You could even be working for someone half way across the world, you need to show them that you are being productive. You can’t be sitting around checking Facebook and looking at things you shouldn’t be looking at. If you don’t show results then you are going to be going nowhere!