Like most college students, you’re bogged down with assignments, extracurriculars, a part time job, and don’t even get me started on your crazy (if even existent) sleep schedule. But before you start shaking your head and muttering that you don’t have the time, hear me out on why you should start looking for a job, internship, or even freelance work within your field while you’re still studying.
The first question is always how much your academics would complicate your work life if you started a side business in freelance, or vise versa. But, college doesn’t compromise the possibility of a new work schedule to the extent you may think, it’s all just a matter of time-management, prioritizing, and hard work. But these are skills you’ll need throughout your life, getting a head start just makes them easier.
The first thing to realize is that you don’t need to master all disciplines at once. You need to prioritize your first layer of responsibilities, in this case it would be school, before adding to your workload. Once you’ve found the proper balance of school to life then you can begin adding on responsibilities like extracurriculars, work, and freelance.
When it comes to working and freelance, you start to learn that time really is money. Being able to manage your time effectively could mean being more efficient in your workspace which would allow you to take on more projects which in turn means more profit and success for your small business. To be successful at time management, it helps to keep in mind that your academic deadlines have a higher priority than work, so get those tasks checked off before starting any other projects. Once that has been tackled, it’s important to choose freelance projects with longer deadlines; allowing yourself to have more time to work and turn out content you’re proud of. Once you become comfortable with the academic, work, life balance is when you can take on projects with shorter deadlines.
The final point to wrap all of this up and make it feel more manageable it to look at your life and your organization level. Is your desk cluttered and unkept? Miscellaneous papers roaming free in your backpack? Keeping your life organized in its entirety is vital to a productive and manageable academic career, in turn making your freelance career much easier to maintain as well. If you bill by the hour, being unable to turn out as much work as you should due to disorganization is an undesirable quality for clients to see. Keep separate folders on your computer for work and academic papers, invoice software to keep track of your billable hours, and keeping your designated freelance and academic hours separate are great places to start getting your life under control.
Being a freelance designer, marketer, or artist as well as a college student is much more manageable than most students realize. It’s all a matter of not biting off more than you can chew and prioritizing your work. If you started a freelance business in college let us know your tips or advice for students struggling to get started!