Gain Job Experience through Freelance Journalist Jobs
A freelance journalist job can give you a terrific opportunity to learn not only about the journalism business, but business in general. The flexibility inherent in being a freelancer provides a chance to learn many different facets of this business at once. We will take a look at the ways being a freelance journalist can increase your skills and knowledge.
Nuts and Bolts
You may have an image of a crusading journalist on the trail on the latest big scoop, but in reality, there are a lot of basic and not-so-glamorous skills involved in the profession. Good solid use of AP-style English is one. Understanding an editor's directions is another. As a freelancer, you'll pick up on the basic newsroom skills necessary for success.
Technology has changed the journalism business and freelancing will allow you to work with multiple kinds of word processing systems and page layout software. This technology is always changing, so keeping up with the latest developments is only beneficial to your career.
Find your Specialty
As a freelancer, you can try different types of journalism to see which is the best fit for you. If you've got some skill as a handyman (or woman!), you might want to try your hand as a regular home improvement writer. A passion for education could lead to working a beat as a school reporter. A sports fanatic may want to try a regular column on local teams. And so on.
Not only is it OK to work in multiple areas, it is recommended so you get a broad background in journalism. When you apply for an assignment with a new employer and they ask what kind of writing you've done, it's definitely impressive when you tell them you've written for different specialties. It might lead to a full-time job or, if you wish to remain a freelancer, it can keep you continuously employed at a variety of tasks.
Other Business Skills
Outside of writing in different areas, being a freelance journalist can improve other skills...skills you can transfer to other jobs. For example, as you become more adept at freelancing for different employers, you'll learn valuable negotiating skills. You'll know how to present yourself in the best light and get the most for what you can provide. You may take some knocks and settle for less at first, but as experience grows, you'll become a pro at setting your own agenda and managing your own career.
The multiple experiences you gain in freelance journalism may allow you to find an entirely different direction in your life. Working an education beat as a journalist may lead you to becoming a teacher. Finding out about the ins and outs of local government may give you the knowledge to be an effective member of that government. As a freelancer, you are not as "tied in" to your journalism job as the regular employees are.
It's hard to think of any profession that allows you to learn so much about so many different things as freelance journalism. Take advantage of this freedom and the sky's the limit.