I want to become a freelance writer but everyone says it is the worst decision ever, and that I would be foolish to try to make money as a freelance writer. What do you think?

I am glad you asked this question because I, too, keep hearing negative things about freelance writing and yet I know several highly successful freelance writers. What you need to do is be prepared. All of the best assignments happen when readiness meets opportunity. Make sure you have the basics covered: a website or LinkedIn profile, a portfolio, and a letter of introduction. When the right opportunity comes along, you don’t want to be scrambling to come up with samples, rates, or a way for clients to contact you. Also, make sure that you are getting out and meeting people. As a freelancer, that’s the only way to build a solid network. And once you start building your network, stay connected to them. Build genuine connections; don’t just collect people to use for referrals. People love to help, but no one wants to feel used. Creating genuine connections with other writers and business owners will provide you with ample writing opportunities and some wonderful friendships.

I was fired from my last job. How do I handle this in my job search? What do I say about it if I am asked if I have ever been fired?

First of all, don’t volunteer the information that you were fired but be prepared to give a well-crafted response if you are asked directly if you have ever been fired. Second, don’t lie. If you mislead anyone about the situation, the truth may come out and be much more damaging that the original infraction. Third, when describing a termination, make sure your response is forthright, direct, non-defensive, and neutral. An evasive response may leave the employer thinking that the situation was much worse than it actually was.