Personal growth is one of the main reasons that a lot of people switch to freelancing. Getting away from the corporate grind, earning more money, making use of unique skills and expertise and to have greater work-life balance.
However, a lot of the people who jump into it do not know and aren’t prepared with all that comes with being a freelancer. How do you land your first client? Freelancing too requires a system of working, which you probably didn’t think about before starting. How do you decide how much to charge? How do you manage finances? Rejection, ouch! What to do about it?
And much more…
Here’s how you can easily tap in your personal growth as a freelancer:
1) Upgrade your skills consistently
Every professional, whether engaged in a full-time job or working as a freelancer, must pay attention to upskilling or upgrading skills from time to time. According to a NASSCOM report, up to 40% of the Indian workforce would undergo re-skilling in the next five years.
The reason: to keep up with the latest industry demands, to increase earnings, and to future-proof your freelancing career. Failing to pay attention to enhancing your skills might soon leave a freelancer redundant, in this ever-changing marketplace.
So, what is upskilling?
Upskilling means improving skill sets to perform better, as well as add to personal growth. Upskilling helps when the new skills pursued are aligned to the market needs. Did you know, employers looking for fitting talent most often select candidates based on the skill sets they list in their profile?
The more the number of skills, the better the chances of landing a gig. The more enhanced and in-demand the skills, the higher the probability of getting well-paid projects.
There are a number of ways to upskill:
- Attend workshops and seminars
- Read books and blogs related to a skill
2) Develop a personal growth mindset
If one doesn’t have the mindset or will to do something, they can never achieve it.
Experts have often spoken about certain human qualities that are associated with a personal growth mindset. Angela Duckworth, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania stresses on ‘grit’, which we know as determination, perseverance or resolve. She explains, “Grit enables individuals to pursue challenging and long-term goals.”
Watch informative videos, read books and articles to hone your character to help you become a better leader. Confidence is the key when you are putting yourself out there selling your skills and services. At the same time, communication skills are vital for someone who’d constantly scooping and marketing clients.
3) Take exciting projects- even if they don’t pay you enough
Freelancers take on projects of different types for various reasons. For the money, to add to their portfolios, to try their hands on new kind of work that can add to their skills and several such other benefits
As a freelancer you would want to always be on top of your game, differentiate yourself from the rest and create a brand of your own. When freelancers work as individuals, every piece of work they produce gets attached to their name. They are accountable and responsible for all the work they do.
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4) Change your approach, try new work styles
Monotony, fatigue, and flatness can easily creep into work when one is doing the same thing day after day. Freelancers, too, may end up in this situation. Getting into a rut is highly possible for freelancers. Only to realize one fine day that their hard work is not reaping the kind of performance or results that it should. You can do better!
Let’s see what we can learn from examples from the world of sports.
In 2016, Roger Federer lost a semi-final at Wimbledon. He decided to take a few months off to treat his injured knee. This gave him the time to revaluate his ambition, career and reinvent his game. He knew he would have to play a slightly different style of tennis keeping in mind his knee injury.
What did he do?
He worked on his backhand and return of serve skills to change to a more powerful style of play that required his hands more than his knees.
Similarly, a freelancer, whether a writer, designer, programmer, manager or web-developer, should think of taking a different approach if a particular way of working is not bringing the desired results.
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5) Network, join a coworking space
For freelancers, the need for networking is REAL! Not only for expanding the business but for personal growth as well. Sharing experiences, collaborating on new kinds of projects, meeting like-minded people and being a part of the “clan”, are some reasons that freelancers engage in networking.
There are several mediums for networking:
- Attending conferences and events
- Being a part of online communities and groups
- Working out of coworking spaces
- Working from cafes
- Expanding your circle of friends
- Expanding your professional contacts
myHQ is one such coworking space brand that caters to freelancers and creative professional. They have some amazing coworking cafes with all the work amenities and a community of 10,000+ innovators for networking & work opportunities. Join myHQ coworking community here.
6) You are a brand. Create a personal brand
You might wonder, why does one need to create a personal brand?
Here’s the truth – every freelancer is already a brand.
From the quality of your work, your work ethics, the way you respond to client emails, how approachable you are, are a few things that will build your brand. If people (clients) don’t like your ways and you, why will they work with you?
Building your own brand is more than being the ideal person. Just like every real brand, you will need to have a presence. In today’s age – your online presence. That’s the practical side of your brand-building.
- Establish yourself as an expert in your field of work
- Focus on personalized services for clients
- Let your work do the talking for you
- Let your personality get your self new projects
- Be consistent
- Infuse passion in every project
Remember, freelancing is easier said than done. It is only when one starts freelancing does one realize what it’s all about. These are just a few ways in which you could grow on the path to a successful freelancing career.
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