Life as a Freelancer

I work full time and have the luck of having a welcoming, flexible and rewarding job helping newcomers to Canada to find their career path and jobs that connect their past experience and education with something similar in Canada.

This is not easy, as we all know, social and economic challenges are complex and immigrants are one of the first groups to be hit when things don’t go as “expected”.

Long time ago, I used to write long emails to my many clients through an informal “newsletter”. Some even asked to stay in touch after they found jobs and their files were closed because they enjoyed my writing and found it helpful.

In 2012, I responded to an article posted at the Canadian Immigrant magazine and they asked me to write further about that topic (“Credential Evaluation”)

That was the start of a great relationship: since then, I have been writing articles at a monthly basis and presented a few times, including at a professional conference.

I walk my own talk: if you have skills that are not being fully utilized in your work (for whatever reason: it may be that you want to be free of constraints to express your ideas or knowledge, or it may be that you want to build a parallel “career” as I am slowly doing with my “Permaculture” side in this blog: ), then you can try free-lancing: start as a volunteer, start with things you love and wouldn’t mind to do after work (always during your free, personal time)…they may become an important source for releasing stress, expressing your many gifts and giving to others in ways not currently suitable for your job.

Not using our many skills in the job is a common feature of how our economies and societies are currently organized, and if you think about it, it is healthy: we all want to contribute and do things that may not have deadlines, guidelines and a “$” attached to it. However, freelancing can open your eyes to new career paths, or parallel career paths that not necessarily clash with your current work.

Freelancing may (eventually) become a full-time career, either through self-employment or working for others, or it may become (as I suggest in some of my Permaculture blog) a source of alternative income. It all depends on how you manage it and what is your goal.

For newcomers, young people or those planning a career change, freelancing is a “safe” way to explore other options without full immersion, while you are still studying, working at no-related jobs or just taking a break…

Here are some of my articles for those of you in Canada (or elsewhere) looking for a job. Enjoy and let me know what other topics you would like to see there (be aware that I do have to adapt some to the format and target of the magazine and i do not have the full freedom I have in this blog to speak about certain issues in the way I see them…but I still keep true to my values!

The “myth” of no Canadian experience:

Alternatives to the “full-time” job paradigm:

Working poor? Immigrant survival jobs and poverty:

Owning your resume: 10 tips to write a good one:

Myths and truths about Foreign Credential Evaluation:

Community involvement can help with job/career search:

Making the right nutrition choices for your family:

2 Comments on “Life as a Freelancer

  1. This is an inspiring discussion, Sylvia. I thought you would appreciate knowing that as I read your insights about how important it is to use our skills to improve things, I decided to return a phone call to an advocacy organization to offer my skills as a volunteer writer. I’ll let you know how it works out. Thank you 🙂


    • That’s great Carola! I “work” as a volunteer for many organizations and groups. It is very rewarding…it is also a way to make a statement: not all is money and there are many things we can (and want) to contribute that don’t have a $ attached to them…things, at the same time, have a magical way to come back to you in different ways. I do believe in the power of the sharing and the gift economies and that we need to work to rescue those concepts…you are already doing a great job by inspiring so many with your stories and insights 🙂

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