How to Find Freelance Jobs

Tips for Finding Freelance Work

Young businesswoman using laptop at work.
Simon Ritzmann / Getty Images

Raises aren't what they used to be, and neither is job security. For these reasons, some workers turn to freelancing. If you're looking to supplement your income, or test the waters for a whole new career, freelancing might be the answer. Here's how to find the best freelance jobs for your skills, needs, and experience.

4 Tips for Finding Freelance Work

1. Networking.

At least 60 percent of all jobs are found through networking.

Freelance gigs are particularly well-suited for this job search method, because employers are more willing to give you a chance if you come recommended by someone they already know and trust.

How do you get started networking? The good news is that you're probably doing it already. If you socialize with present or former colleagues or anyone in your industry, you're making and forging connections that will help you find work, freelance or otherwise. Your goal now is to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.

2. Social Media.

Social media is the would-be freelancer's best friend. Your favorite social network can be your personal website, free advertising, and electronic business card, all rolled into one. You can leverage your existing social media presence by quietly announcing to certain connections that you're looking for work, or post a general notice on your own profile that you're now accepting freelance clients.

Just watch those privacy settings. If you've connected with your boss -- or the office tattletale -- on social media, you could inadvertently be announcing your intentions to the wrong person.

3. Job Sites.

When you think of job sites, you probably only think in terms of full-time work. But in fact, most of the major job search sites allow you to search for freelance gigs as well, either by keyword, filter, or category.

In addition, there are plenty of sites that cater specifically to folks looking solely for freelance work. See this page for an ever-evolving list.

4. Professional Associations.

Most industries have professional associations; it's worth it to research the ones in your field, to see if the membership dues come with access to specialized job boards, career advice, education, or other support. To find organizations in your area, start with your best friend Google -- and don't forget to ask your real friends and colleagues for their recommendations, as well.

Know Before You Look for Freelance Jobs:

If you're looking for extra work on top of your full-time job, you need to take special care that your part-time gig doesn't interfere with your main source of income. This requires a bit of advance planning, even before you start looking for freelance jobs:

- Make sure your employer doesn't have a policy against moonlighting. In some cases, you will have signed a legal document prior to starting your job, which specifies whether you can work another job, and what kind of jobs are OK. If you've been at your current job a long time, this might have slipped your mind. Now's a good time to check on your employer's policy.

(But don't tell HR directly that you're working part-time elsewhere. You might send a message you don't intend.)

- Trade secrets. Even if your boss doesn't care about your working for another company, your employer might have a policy about using information you've learned in the course of your regular duties to earn extra cash for a competitor.

- Scheduling issues. Once you've figured out that you're legally in the clear to take on extra work, make sure you won't paint yourself into a corner, time-wise, by doing so. If freelancing will make it hard to find time to do your full-time job, it's not worth the money.

In any case, start small. Don't commit to 20 hours of extra work right off the bat. Take on a few hours of work, or one project for a single client, to get an idea of how you'll cope with the extra workload, before you commit more time and resources to freelancing.

Related: 6 Places to Find Freelance Job Listings Online | 3 Ways to Find a Work-From-Home Job

Read More: Top 10 Jobs to Work Remotely | Top 10 Job Search Tips | 10 Things You Need to Know to Start Freelancing