When you are working between projects or looking for new clients, could you be using that time more effectively to advance your career? We look at ways that freelancers can make the most of their time off between projects to boost their skill sets, health and portfolio
Freelancers often have a lot of flexibility in their work schedules, which can be a great thing. However, it can also be easy to get complacent and not take advantage of this time, especially between projects or contracts. If you’re a freelancer, here are a few tips to consider to make the most of your time off between projects:
Increase your skill set
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition and get higher-paying projects is to constantly be learning and developing new skills. There are many ways to do this, such as taking online courses, attending workshops, or reading books and articles.
Hire a career coach
If you are on the fence as to which direction or specific skills you want to attain, you may want to reach out to a career coach before shelling out a lot of money on a course. However, before you part your money with a career coach, here are some things to consider before hiring.
- Experience: Make sure the coach has experience working with people in your field or with similar career goals.
- Credentials: Look for a coach who is certified by a reputable organization, such as the International Coaching Federation.
- Communication skills: The coach should be able to listen effectively and communicate clearly.
- Empathy: The coach should be able to understand your needs and help you achieve your goals.
- Support: The coach should be supportive and encouraging throughout the coaching process.
It’s important to work with coach with whom you feel comfortable and who you can trust. It is a good idea to interview a few coaches before making a decision. Here are some questions you can ask a career coach during an interview:
- What is your experience working with people in my field?
- What are your coaching methods?
- How will you help me achieve my goals?
- What are your fees?
- Do you offer a free consultation?
Improve your health
Taking care of your health is essential for your overall well-being and productivity. The act of exercise creates feel-good endorphins and a sense of self-pride, especially when you start to see results. Keep persistent in your healthy habits by making them part of your daily habits. For example, do some stretches of exercises in the kitchen when your coffee or tea is brewing. Schedule your health because without it working as a freelance is just so much harder. You can also try relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. Once you find a method that works for you, you can schedule these throughout your working day to give you a boost and stretch muscles that become tight while working at a desk or other repetitive movements.
Network with other freelancers
Networking with other freelancers is a great way to learn new things, find new clients, and get feedback on your work and mindset. There are many online and offline communities for freelancers, so find one that’s a good fit for you and start connecting with others. Having a network of people who might understand your daily struggles as a freelancer could also be a good listening board on how to balance your work-life balance or a sticky situation of a client.
Another way to reach out to freelancers is to offer a free webinar on something you’re good at. Once you have trialled out the webinar you could develop a course and sell online as a pre-made video or live webinar session.
Update or create a stronger online portfolio
In the world of freelancing, your portfolio is your calling card. It’s the first thing potential clients will see, so it’s important to make sure it’s polished, professional, and showcases your best work. In this article, The Freelance Informer outlines the steps to making a freelance portfolio that is unique and clearly tells clients why they should hire you.
Take some time for yourself every day
It’s important to take some time for yourself to relax and recharge. This could mean spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, or simply doing nothing at all. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something that you enjoy and that helps you de-stress. If it also works towards self-development or a new skill even better.
Here are some specific things that freelancers can do to increase their skill sets, health, and rates between projects.
- Take an online course: There are many online courses available that can help freelancers learn new skills. Some popular options include Coursera, Udemy, and Lynda.com.
- Attend a workshop: Workshops are a great way to learn new skills from experts in the field. There are many workshops available for freelancers, such as writing workshops, marketing workshops, and design workshops.
- Read books and articles to boost your personal and career confidence: There are many books and articles available that can help freelancers improve their skills. “The Freelancer’s Bible” by Sara Horowitz or “Survival Skills for Freelancers” by Sarah Townsend.
- Join a freelancer community: There are many online and offline communities for freelancers. These communities can be a great way to learn from other freelancers, find new clients, and get feedback on your work.
- Become a digital nomad in another country. The Freelance Informer has published several articles on the best countries for remote working and digital nomads and how to join groups of fellow nomads to network and be social while abroad. We also highlight how more people are taking workcations in this article.
- Get involved in your industry: Attend industry events, join industry associations, and contribute to industry publications. This is a great way to network with other professionals and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your field. Attempt to join one event per month to start. You may find that you can join online groups, too.
- Take care of your physical and mental health: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. You can also try relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.
- Take some time for yourself: Make sure you’re taking some time for yourself to relax and recharge. This could mean spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, or simply doing nothing at all. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something that you enjoy and that helps you de-stress.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your time off between projects and improve your skill sets, health, and rates.
If you attempt even just two, write in and tell us how it is progressing your career and self-development: firstname.lastname@example.org