There is a good reason that the “free” is part of the word freelance. Technology and an acceptance of remote working among employers are giving this new style of working a boost. If you are retired, or considering retirement, and have ever dreamt of working from home or independent locations, freelancing may be an attractive option for you.
Many boomer women entered the workplace 40 years ago and have had long and productive careers. Now they have an opportunity to re-market their unique skills and experience in a new context. They can engage in employment that gives them freedom to travel and do the things they want. Women who spent years getting advanced degrees and honing their specialist skills can build on that investment with a job that matches their independent spirit.
To explore the fascinating world of freelancing, here are 6 freelance careers that offer financial security and freedom for retired business professionals.
There are many freelance opportunities for women who spent their careers in sales and marketing and have experience managing client relationships or selling new products. This is especially true for women who have experience in communications. However, the field of marketing has not remained static. Digital and social media skills have now become a key part of this market segment, so to be competitive, online skills must be developed.
Unlike writing jobs, which are fairly transactional and can be found through sites like Upwork.com, it is often more productive to find freelance marketing work through your own professional network.
Just remember, you are the prize! Be proud of your accomplishments and tell people how you think you can help them rather than asking for help finding work.
Women who have worked in office management or operations roles may find that a freelance job in project management suits their skills. Their work experience may have involved managing teams and vendors or balancing cross group collaboration.
These skills are very marketable when combined with the real world experience developed managing families and running busy homes. Once again, your own professional network can be a great source of business leads. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile recently, now is the time!
Information technology has been an important part of the workplace for almost 20 years and many women have considerable experience in programming or IT. Some of the tools have changed and improved significantly. If you have an aptitude for technology, there are many freelance opportunities available, from designing and managing websites to providing remote technical support for online businesses that are unable to hire a full time IT Manager.
Technology tutoring is another strong freelance opportunity. If being a freelance Web Developer sounds like your kind of thing, check out Upwork.com for opportunities. Or, if you want to learn a new skill, while keeping your brain in shape, why not check out the many programming and design courses on Lynda.com?
J.K Rowling would agree that writing careers aren’t built by magic. Practice, creativity and persistence are the keys. Writing articles and press releases for online websites and blogs is a well-established, but very competitive, freelance field.
Potential roles include content manager, copywriter, editor, technical writer or blog article writer. This freelance work is perfect for women who enjoyed careers as writers, trainers, communications managers or researchers. It can be rather transactional and low paid, but this is one freelance job that easily be done from home.
Elance.com is good place to start the search for online writing jobs.
If you are looking for additional tips on how to become a freelance writer, please check out my interview with professional writer, Ben Gran.
For women who built careers as accountants, bookkeepers or tax consultants, there are many freelance job opportunities. If you are a savvy tax consultant, you can look for seasonal work, helping people with their year-end returns.
Many small businesses owners are entrepreneurs and are looking for someone to help them keep track of their finances. They may even need help with broader business issues that touch on financial topics. This is one of the consistently strong freelance career opportunities.
For many women over 60, being a substitute teacher or educational advisor is a good option. There are many opportunities for freelance teachers at all grade levels. Jobs range from writing training materials and learning guides to grading tests and providing special needs education services.
There are also positions available as online tutors or translators in every subject under the sun.
Finally, teaching English as a foreign language gives the adventurous freelancer a chance to make a reasonable salary while traveling the world!
Have you ever been a freelancer? How did it work out for you? Did it give you the freedom that you desired or open a new career opportunity? Please join the discussion.
Watch my interview with Nancy Collamer for more resources to help you make money in retirement.