5 in-demand freelance gigs for new graduates
Commencement season is underway and many college graduates are considering their next steps.
As you look for a full-time role, you might consider picking up some freelance gigs. With all of the various platforms to offer your services or apply for projects on, you “can start working pretty quickly,” says Margaret Lilani, vice president of talent solutions at the online marketplace Upwork.
Here are five freelance gigs for recent grads to consider and how much experienced freelancers are charging for them:
1. A.I.: Various jobs are popping up around the proliferation of artificial intelligence, such as AI engineers. AI specialists charge as much as $250 per hour on Upwork.
2. Graphic design: People with experience using programs like Photoshop and InDesign can put a portfolio together and “immediately compete for jobs,” Lilani says. Graphic designers charge as much as $145 per hour on Upwork.
3. Research: These jobs can include creating business plans, strategic management and researching competitors, says Matt Barrie, chief executive at Freelancer.com. Researchers on Upwork charge as much as $200 per hour.
4. Social media marketing: Many businesses are looking for help promoting their brands on popular platforms like TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media specialists charge as much as $90 per hour on Upwork.
5. Web development: “Programming is another option for graduates skilled in IT, coding or web development,” says Barrie. Web developers on Upwork charge as much as $125 per hour.
Get Ahead: Transition your wardrobe from college to work in 3 easy steps
Dressing for your first job post-graduation can be confusing. While you might have to trade in your sweatpants for slacks, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars rebuilding your wardrobe.
Here are some tips:
Learn from your co-workers: Before you spend a whole paycheck on new clothes, take note of how your colleagues are showing up to work. It’s important to understand what different corporate dress codes mean, including casual, formal and “power casual,” which is a combination of both, according to Handshake executive Christine Cruzvergara.
Build your own ‘uniform’: Create a capsule wardrobe with interchangeable basics that can be styled quickly and easily. Syd Andrews, a 2019 college graduate, recommends investing in a pair of trousers, dark wash jeans, a loose-fitting blazer, neutral crew-neck T-shirts and a pair of formal shoes.
When in doubt, go back to black: Start with a neutral palette, which works for any season or dress code. Simple, classic pieces that are one or two colors tend to be easier to care for, too, so they last a long time, says Drexel University associate professor Ali Howell Abolo.
Millennial Money: Living On $230K A Year Selling Ice Cream
Annie Park, 32, makes $230,000 running Sarah's Handmade Ice Cream, an ice cream shop franchise, with her mom in the Washington, D.C., area. The ice cream business brought in $1.86 million in revenue in 2022.
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Harvard happiness expert says these 2 common pieces of job advice are ‘both terrible’
Arthur Brooks, a happiness expert and professor at Harvard University, has a happiness formula — and he doesn’t think young people hear it enough.
As Brooks delivered the keynote speech at the Catholic University of America’s 2023 commencement, he warned new graduates against two common, “terrible” pieces of career advice:
1) “Go find a job that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”
2) “Go save the world”
To the first, he said: “Good luck with that. It’s a great way to ruin your life.” He explained that expecting a job to be fun all the time will set you up to hate it — when the work inevitably becomes difficult and not fun.
And Brooks scoffed at the second, “No pressure.” To expect your day job to solve the world’s myriad problems is another recipe for disappointment.
Instead, the true keys to finding happiness at work, Brooks says, are producing something valuable in your own life and in the lives of others, and doing your job in a way that serves other people.
“Maybe you’ll work in your major — probably not. Maybe you’ll land your dream job — probably not, especially if you don’t know what your dream job is,” Brooks told the graduates. “None of this matters, as long as at the end of the day, you can say, on most days at least, ‘I did my work with love and with excellence.’”
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