We plan, we design, we create!
When it comes to running the planet (or our little corner of it) civil engineers are the ones everyone turns too! And with good reason – from sewage systems to power plants, civil engineering forms the backbone on which civilization is built and run. – This is what all civil engineers think while in college. When the job search starts, reality sets in. Like every other profession, the job search is a constant struggle that Engineers also must undertake. The only difference between the millennial engineer and his older counterparts is that- now you can FREELANCE. And unlike 10 years ago, there are enough freelance projects to go around!
The global economy has opened up bringing a new mindset to work – gone are the days of safe and steady jobs, now flexibility and skills rule the roost.
Now getting down to brass tacks – What exactly is expected from a freelance civil engineer?
You will mostly be offered project-based jobs (not just time-based ones), and your primary job in most cases would be to work with the construction crews and other junior engineers to build residential or commercial structures.
Here are some of the main duties of a freelance civil engineer –
- Site investigations & making technical and feasibility reports
- Create civil designs
- Make sure all the mathematical calculations are correct
- Liaising with clients and architects, subcontractors, etc
- Budgeting and resource allocation
- Creating and working to get materials and equipment on schedule
- Correcting and tweaking the design as the building process evolves
- In charge of on-time & in-budget completion of the project
Now the points mentioned above are core civil engineering job requirements and no matter how or where you work you will be expected to have the skills to manage the above.
However, freelance is a slightly different world – of course, core skills and experience are essential to land a job, but more than that to make money and get constant work you need to be able to market yourself and have excellent interpersonal skills.
In a crowded marketplace, keeping all things equal, how you present your self can tip the balance in your favour. Everything from your profile to your pitch and how you communicate with the employer matters!
So here are some of our well-tested tips for boosting your freelance career –
- Think hard and compose a good profile and cover letter (if writing is not your forte, then ask your friends or family for help). Take your time – this is a vital step.
- Register yourself on at least five online job platforms
- Create a simple webpage with your portfolio – all recruiters ask for a sample of previous work and a simple link is so much easier to navigate then PDF attachments. Moreover, they look so much more professional!
- Stay well informed and up to date on the latest researches in your field. An employer doesn’t know you and will be trying to gauge your expertise; a few subtly inserted phrases can help establish your credentials.
- Use social media – Twitter and LinkedIn are essential to market yourself. Try following, commenting or publishing regularly on both these platforms.
- Communicate regularly with all your contacts – freelancers cannot afford to be embarrassed about calling to ask for jobs. Give a polite call or a drop a message or mail regularly. Make a list and keep plugging at it.
- Lastly, for beginners, you could consider taking on projects with low remuneration or offer to do a few for free – just to get a few reviews and to build your portfolio.
To be truly successful as a freelancer you need to work at inculcating the freelance mindset. We all hanker after a secure paycheck – to really crack the benefits of the gig economy you need to break away from that state of mind. To get flexibility, you have to embrace uncertainty; to make more money, you need to take risks; to grow professionally, you have to deliver over and above what is expected from you.
One final word of advice – give it time. It will take at least a year before your freelancing efforts start gaining momentum. So, don’t give up soon and get started NOW! You can start with our portal – goHyP and browse through a selection of freelance jobs to find the one that suits your skills.