Here’s How Upskilling Helped Me In My Freelance Content Writing Career

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A friend recently lost her job to the bad economy and recession that is hitting every business hard. Her boss’s reason was, “I can’t afford you because business isn’t too good.” So just before Diwali, she lost not only her much-deserving bonus but also a job that was going to pay her bills. Right now, she is at a loss over what to do next; since the market is terrible, getting another job isn’t easy either.

This could be you. And if you are a freelancer, it’ll be easier to stop giving you work as it won’t involve any reasoning or dialogue even. You’ll simply stop getting business without knowing what happened.

This isn’t the only case I’ve heard. Friend’s have complained of getting lousy bonuses or no increments because the economy is slow and they don’t need as much staff. Plus, there’s nothing that can’t be automated anymore, which means one person for the job of three. Which essentially means that as soon as things get tough, freelancers are the first to go out of work while the employed will be overburdened with more things to do.

This is why you, as a freelancer, need to upskill

Upskilling will keep you relevant in the workforce and create more opportunities for you to expand your career and take up more work. 

As a freelancer, a course that adds up to your current qualifications can be a significant advantage. For instance, my friend who is a merchandiser and lost her job could have retained it if she had an additional degree in digital marketing and could also handle the marketing aspect for the brand that has an online store. 

The more skills you add to your resume, the more difficult you are to part with. Plus, learning a new skill or subject also fuels motivation and can transform the way you look at things entirely.

As a features writer, I ended up expanding my career to two related avenues – blogging and digital marketing – thanks to upskilling. In 2016, when I decided to quit my full-time job, I initially struggled to look for stable freelancing offers, and while looking for more work, I discovered that social media jobs were in high demand. 

Considering that content is a big part of social media, I took up a short-term diploma course in digital marketing to enhance my knowledge in the field and use my free time more effectively. 

This proved to be extremely beneficial as I then discovered that even though long-form writing is what I want to do, short-form writing is what has more demand as digital and visual modes of communication are becoming more popular. 

With the knowledge I gained from that course, I started taking up assignments to do content for social media and realised that the opportunities are endless. Since I was already an avid social media user, I founded a food and travel blog to document my two great passions. The connections I made through the events I attended for the blog have helped me immensely in my freelancing career.

Armed with these two skills I realised that I also started getting more work because companies are more than happy to find one person to take on three things, rather than finding three different freelancers for each job. 

Plus, you can certainly demand more money to complement your new skill set. 

Today, as a freelancer, I continue to follow my heart which lies in long-form writing, while I put down cheeky copies for social media to keep the money coming in. The blog, of course, is more of a passion project sparing a few occasions where I’ve made money out of it. But when the need arises, it can fund me, so there’s always something to fall back on.  

Similarly, I know of many freelancer friends who’ve started doing completely different things from what they’re trained in, and this has been possible only because they are continually upskilling themselves and in the process discover more lucrative opportunities.

As a freelancer for several years now, I strongly feel that taking a step towards upskilling yourself in a field that interests you can go a long way in helping your career. Plus, learning something new can never be a waste. 

So go on, take up that additional course on the weekends and give your freelancing career a boost. 

You’re invited! Join the Kool Kanya women-only career Community where you can network, ask questions, share your opinions, collaborate on projects, and discover new opportunities. Join now.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Zahra! Thank you for sharing your experience! I like the way you have written this article, simple yet precise with its core focus on upskilling. I’m new to freelancing and absolutely agree that upskilling is very important. And the other important tips that you have mentioned here will surely help me establish a stronger foothold as a freelancer.

  2. Nice article highlighting the importance of diversifying your skill set. I am also a content writer and needed this reminder as we approach a new year. Thank you!

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