Went “Dumpster Diving” For Freelance Work. Here’s What I Learned…

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Here’s a snippet of my first ever LinkedIn article, where I discuss “virtual dumpster diving” in search of freelance work. Funny story: Right after I uploaded the article (we’re talking minutes…), I heard back from a company I’d written in the past. Crazy…


What do I mean by “dumpster diving?”

Well, I’m currently on the lookout for new freelance work, and I decided to take a different approach.

Over the past couple of days, I reached to former clients, employers, and even persons who’d rejected my applications in the past. I even hit up my first official freelance client. I may not get any new freelance job opportunities this way. In fact, I’ve already gotten a few responses using more traditional methods, so any offerings might not even be necessary.

What was REALLY important to me (and why I was determined to go through more than four years worth of emails) was that what I stood to gain from the activity: A valuable learning experience.

I Learned That I Can Be Obnoxiously Condescending

Do you know what it’s like to cringe from your soul? I didn’t either before rereading some of those cover letters and emails. Wow. Now to my credit, most of my attempts to reach out to would-be employers sounded okay. Normal. Enthusiastic. Friendly.

However, I did note that there were times when I wasn’t always sincere. Sometimes I tried too hard. Other times…I didn’t try hard enough. And when I didn’t try hard enough, I found that there was a tone that practically communicated my subconscious lack of interest in anything other than a paycheck.

I’m not very proud of this and having examined that approach in retrospect; you can bet this something I won’t be doing going forward.




QUESTION: Have you ever gone looking through your old emails and rejected applications? What did YOU learn?

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Defend The Pen
Defend The Pen is a website dedicated to reporting the latest writing news and blogging about ongoing trends that impact writers. It also hopes to be of help to writers and bloggers who find themselves at the ends of their collective ropes!

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