Getting Your First Gig

Stand out from the crowd and use your talents to land a gig.
Stand out from the crowd and use your talents to land a gig.

Getting your first gig can seem overwhelming when you’ve never tackled outside work before. If all of your work experience has involved sitting in an office or standing around at a restaurant or store waiting for your boss to tell you what to do, then it can be hard to figure out where to start.

Fortunately, getting your first gig doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t have to plan out a whole year’s worth of gigs before you begin, and you don’t have to make a certain amount of money or commit yourself to a specific type of gig. You certainly don’t need to spend a lot of money- or any money at all if you’re starting a gig that requires nothing but your time.

The only thing you need, really, is a willingness to take a step toward controlling your own income- and a desire to make more than what your regular job (or savings) provides.

If you’re nervous about taking on gig-like jobs, start small. Try finding odd jobs on Craigslist or Fiver and jumping right in. Once you’ve experienced what gig-like work is really all about, you might feel more confident about pursuing gigs in the areas you really want to explore.

If you’re a planner at heart, take some time to sketch out the direction you think you want to go, but don’t spend so much time planning that you never actually DO anything. Gigs are about action- and you’ll have to jump in with both feet at some point.

The places you find gigs and the opportunities available to you depend on your local area, specific skills, and the level of competition in your particular niche- but in some cases, just trying a few gigs locally will help you determine these things and help you figure out if what you want to do is feasible in your area. If local conditions aren’t right for your gig interests, you might have to adapt your plans- but there’s almost always *some* way to make extra money related to your interests even if the idea you thought of first isn’t working out.

Whether you’re eager or nervous about getting your first gig, keep in mind that soon you’ll find that living a gig lifestyle comes naturally to you. You’ll probably look back and wonder what took you so long.

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