We all want more experience. The fastest way to get it is by helping solve other people's problems. I'm talking here of online forums and similar venues in which you can grow in skill by taking your current knowledge and applying it to scenarios others are struggling in. Because those others will present with far more problems in a shorter period of time than you could ever cause or encounter on your own.
Here's a snippet from a recent email I received offering some paid work:
"We would like to have someone whom we can contact who can assist us on occasion with Squarespace and are wondering how much you would charge for occasional help?"
Nice! Isn't it?
Here's another, asking my help on a project:
"I am being considered to submit a proposal to design a website, which will be rather substantial! I need someone to consult/work with me on the project. Would love of course to work with you on it if at all possible."
I don't have a full-time job in creating websites. I don't even run a side-business. (I lack the time!) Yet I get asked regularly about doing paid work. Why? Because, forums. Because I'm accelerating my experience by helping others.
You can do the same! Your efforts will not go unrewarded. You'll gain a stronger base of experience than from working on just your own projects. You'll become known in the community. Others will want to work with you. And that ultimately puts bread on your table.
Props to U.S. Navy Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain for such an amazing image. I had created a short-list of a half-dozen images as candidates for the headline image in this post. Still I wasn't satisfied. Then I saw Daniel's image and knew at once that it was the image. No question. Fits the topic perfectly. Wonderful image. Good composition. Love it!