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What Career Paths Are Available for Freelancers? Do You Know Your Options?

by Laura Spencer

on July 23, 2013

in Freelancing Life

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

Once a freelancer, always a freelancer?

Right?

Not necessarily. There are actually many different career paths you can take from freelancing. Yet many freelancers fail to think about their future. Some haven’t even begun to think about retirement yet.

Freelancing provides you with valuable marketable skills–skills you can use on a wide variety of career paths. In this post, I’ll share some post-freelancing career paths with you. If you’ve ever thought about moving from freelancing into something else, this post is for you.

Where Do I Go from Freelancing?

Some freelancers will remain freelancers for their entire work-life. There’s nothing wrong with that if you want it. Freelancing offers a lot of perks and flexibility. Understandably, a lot of freelancers really like that.

However, other freelancers become restless after a few years. They want something more. They are looking for a more defined career path.

Fortunately, you can leverage your freelancing experience to move to a different type of career. Here are just some of the career path options that freelancers can take:

  1. Small Business CEO. Many successful small businesses start as one-man shops. Your freelance business may have the potential to become something much larger. Your business could actually become a full-fledged company or an agency that hires others. Naturally, as the founder of the company you’d likely serve as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). You can start down this career path by incorporating yourself and growing your business larger.
  2. Online Store Owner. It’s not unusual for a freelancer to develop a product to sell in addition to freelancing. Sometimes these products simply provide the freelancer with a little extra revenue. But occasionally a side product will take off. If your revenue from your side product exceeds your revenue from freelancing, you may want to transition from freelancing to becoming a full-time online store owner.
  3. Traditional Employee, Senior Team Member. As a freelancer, you work with a wide variety of different projects in your specialty. This is a direct contrast to a traditional employee, who may only get to work on a narrow range of projects of the same type. Your broad freelancing experience working on different types of projects can make you more valuable to a corporation, which may be willing to bring you in as a senior employee.
  4. Traditional Employee, Manager. Freelancing is about more than just being good in your field. It’s also about having strong business skills. After all, as a freelancer you are essentially running a small business. You have to deal with everything from marketing to accounting to customer service. The general business skills you learn as a freelancer can be used to manage a department in a traditional company.
  5. Author. As a freelancer, you are probably an expert in your field. It’s not uncommon for experienced freelancers to decide to share their knowledge by writing books, articles, or papers. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise in your field as an author, learn everything you can about improving your writing skills. You can start by submitting articles and guest posts to blogs in your field.
  6. Reinvent Yourself. Freelancing allows for a lot of flexibility. It’s not unusual for a freelancer to move between fields. I’ve known freelance web developers who became freelance writers and freelance writers who became freelance translators, and vice versa. If you want to change fields, start learning your new skill and then rebrand your freelancing business to meet your new goals.

Read 5 Exciting Career Tracks for Freelancers to discover even more exciting career paths for freelancers.

And remember, you don’t have to pick just one of these career paths for yourself. You can combine career paths to create a unique opportunity that is especially suited to your personality and goals. Take advantage of the fact that you are a freelancer to take control of your own future.

This really helpful post, Freelancers: 10 Ways To Get A Full-Time Corporate Job, from Lindsay Olson via U.S. News published on Aol job details some steps you should take if you want to move from freelancing to a corporate position.

Your Turn

Have you used freelancing to springboard yourself into another career path? We’d like to hear about it. What did you do?

Share your story in the comments.

Image by John Keane

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy LauraĆ¢??s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.