How to Work Freelance without Losing Sight of the Big Picture
The challenge to fill the empty page with fresh and original contents is on. SEO writing is just one of the many opportunities for writers in the cyber age. There are a lot more waiting to be discovered by those adept and patient enough. All you need is skill and talent in basic writing and a good grasp of the language. If we browse through the profiles of those who write online, a big percent of these professionals are not educated in Creative writing or marketing courses. In fact, you will be amazed to see health, engineering and physics graduates in the list of top rated writers. Wonder why this is so?
The Allure of Freelance Work
In a continuously advancing age of computers and high-tech gadgets, people’s lifestyles have also changed. The world has become one global village, as most writers would say. Flow of products and even ideas have become easier with the advent of social media, online commerce and crowd sourcing. These innovations may have inherent downsides, but the opportunity to create new concepts and mechanisms that can make human life more vibrant and productive is also ripe. Technology is a neutral thing. How people make us of them is the big question. It goes the same for work. As people become more networked, new patterns and structure of work have cropped-up. This opens new doors for freelance jobs, and supposedly widening the options of those who do not want to be tied down to one employer or organization for life. This suits highly independent individuals whose approach to work is more flexible. And it goes for those who value creativity and innovation rather than routine. If there is one thing that makes freelance work attractive, it is the sense of ownership that goes with the process and output of work. You own your time; manage your own resources and the final product. Although in some writing jobs you do not get the byline, the decision is in your hands whether to accept the arrangement that will make you lose your intellectual property or not. Some writers do not think this is an issue, after all we can always rationalize that knowledge is common property.
If you are into freelance work it does not mean that you are already cut-out from the mainstream workforce. The adjustment period may not be the same between those who had been working for themselves from the very start and those who had been employed by firms or organizations and have decided to work for themselves. The latter has a point of reference and comparison between life before and after. Here are some points of reflection why we should not lose sight of the big picture when going into self-employment:
1. Have an authentic reason why you chose to work freelance
While it is true that the economy is in bad shape, this is really a seasonal thing. Except for cases when mass lay-offs and huge unemployment rates rock society, workers will always find ways to get by. In times of chronic crisis, companies may downsize adding number to the multitude of displaced. We can always cite a number of reasons external to what we are though these affect us in different degrees. One thing is clear though, doing freelance work does not mean we are isolated from all events that are unfolding. Freelance work is also an option for women who choose to work from home. It gives them the chance to balance home and career. They can work at their own pace and still be around for their kids. It can be a productive venture and hobby at the same time.
2. Set clear work goals
Set goals. Write them down, too. Better yet, post them on your wall. This is something you can always go back to from time to time. You can measure your achievements from targets that you set. Be smart in formulating your objectives. They should be very specific, can be gauged or measured, within your reach and the time frame is clear. While working in organizations, we normally keep our annual plans and break them by quarter. You can still do this while working on your own.
3. Take stock of your resources
What do you have now that can help you reach your targets? Skills: they can be enhanced. Time: they can be managed. Equipment: a good internet connection, laptop or desktop are essential. You can always work anywhere. This is the beauty of freelance online jobs. It gives you so much freedom and space to create those quality contents that are required by your clients.
4. Manage your portfolio
Have a good list of potential sources for projects or short-term work. Join an outsourcing network like oDesk, Elance, Freelancer and many others. There are so many websites for freelance writers. All you need is to browse through them and find one you are most comfortable to join with. As you start your new career, manage your work load well. Take smaller jobs and slowly build your portfolio. As you survive the days, you also get more confidence that you can sustain your new work status.
5. Pay it forward
Always be grateful for the blessings that come your way. Believe in the principle that we have to pay back to society what we are given. Share your extras to those who need help. As a writer, use your skill to promote good social causes that will improve humanity. Volunteer in a charity, local NGOs or humanitarian organization. Say something about protecting the environment, etc. We can always find something, even small things that can make a difference.