The Job Pyramid and What it Means to You

The job market is shaped like a pyramid. Consider the pyramid shape for a minute. It’s broader at the base and gets narrower as it rises to the top.

The same thing is true when you are looking at freelance writing jobs. If you are looking at entry-level opportunities, there are many of them out there. I’m just talking about numbers, not whether they would be a good fit for you or whether they pay a rate that you would feel comfortable accepting.

One of the reasons that I like checking out leads on is that this job search engine gives you information about the number of jobs it has currently listed, as well as estimated salary. This morning, I typed in “freelance writer” as a search term and got these results back for estimated salaries and number of jobs:

$20,000+ (6666)
$40,000+ (4392)
$60,000+ (2075)
$80,000+ (1172)
$100,000+ (984)

Following the job pyramid example, the entry-level gigs form the base of the pyramid. This is good news for people who want to get started as freelance writers, because they are looking for a chance to get experience and build up a portfolio of work.

As you move into the higher-paying levels, the number of jobs decreases. As you move toward the top of the pyramid, it gets smaller too. The shrinking job market for higher-paying gigs is actually good news for freelance writers. Why? As you move up toward the pyramid toward more lucrative work, the number of people applying for those gigs also decreases.

It takes time to develop your skills and gain the experience necessary to go after the bigger jobs. Most people who decide that they want to be freelance writers either give up after a short time or focus on the lower-hanging fruit when it comes to job opportunities, because they are more plentiful and considered easier to get.

If you have been holding yourself back from going after a freelance writing job that is a bit higher up the job pyramid than you are used to applying for, why don’t you put yourself out there and do it anyway? The only way you will edge closer to the top is to challenge yourself to do so. There may be fewer gigs the closer you get to the top, but there is less competition as well. Go for it!


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