On-the-job skills that translate to freelance career
January 20, 2012 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Next up in my continuing series of "what career" questions...As I face transitioning from my independent, location-free, freelance career into a "real" job, one of the things that keeps me from curling up in a ball and crying as often as I might is the thought that maybe I can learn some new, in-demand, valuable things in whatever I do and someday return to freelancing/contracting/owning my own business with more to offer and better prospects of making a living. Does anyone have some thoughts or resources to suggest for choosing a career that might give me skills or knowledge that would be in-demand and saleable in the self-employed world?

Sorry the question is a bit vague; I've done some Googling, but I haven't been able to get the whole picture. For example, I can find a list of in-demand freelance skills, but that doesn't tell me what jobs use those skills, or if "in-demand" translates to "makes a decent rate."

I guess I'm just looking for some brainstorming help. If there's anything I can add to clarify, let me know and I'll do my best. Thanks!
posted by SampleSize to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As I face transitioning from my independent, location-free, freelance career...Does anyone have some thoughts or resources to suggest for choosing a career?

What do you do now? What skills or interests do you already have?
posted by jacalata at 12:41 PM on January 20, 2012

From what I have been exposed to, those who have been successful to branch out and start their own business in freelancing are in very specific, niche areas. Also, it wasn't something they planned... it just happened because it just made sense when the time came. In speaking with them, basically they started like anyone else- working for a business- and over time develop the skill and reputation in the industry, both by their employer and suppliers they worked with, as an expert. Then they got tired of working for a larger business, or had to take time off for family or quit to take a 6 month sabbatical to bicycle around the world... and re-entered as a freelancer based on their reputation.

As for examples, I just know for my field in manufacturing/engineering we have basically "go to guys" freelancing in TPM, automation of certain processes, industrial safety, expert in starting up and troubleshooting specific equipment.
posted by peachtree at 1:22 PM on January 20, 2012

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