Half of the freelancers lost 60 percent of their income due to COVID-19 and the economic downturn. A survey by Haymarket Business Media revealed. Half said they would even consider ending self-employment to return to an employer.
However, the pandemic has shown that traditionally employed people are no safer than freelancers.
Successful freelancers have gathered skills and resilience to survive the unexpected. If the pandemic and recession have rocked your career, these four traits of successful freelancers can help you deal with them.
Be an agile self-starter
If something goes wrong, freelancers don’t turn to a manager to fix problems. You assess the situation and make a plan.
When Chanté Griffin, a freelance writer for natural black hair markets, lost her job due to COVID-19, “I wondered what unique things I didn’t bring to the table for other freelancers. How can I capitalize and monetize it? ” She said.
It continued to sell natural hair pieces, provided that only a few unemployed writers could serve this niche. Griffin also diversified her income by starting an online spiritual writing course.
“Only this one class met a need that I didn’t even know existed, and I couldn’t imagine teaching more than once,” she said. The class was sold out, so Griffin is offering it again.
Freelancers are usually independent minds who develop leadership skills out of necessity: They run businesses from one. In an office, given the chain of command, you may have fewer opportunities to become self-employed, but you can develop an agile approach to specific tasks, time management, and productivity. Agility is a learned skill that increases resilience when things change suddenly.
Build a DIY support network
Employees are integrated peer support communities. In order to create these communities for themselves, freelancers improvise online support networks via social media, online forums or personal events such as conferences. These networks are invaluable for advice, career support and professional development.
Griffin early connected to a Facebook group for black writers in her freelance work. The mix of beginners and professional writers was a welcome place for someone who switched from another career to writing to learn the ropes. Griffin’s connections led to paid work, critic partners and mentoring.
“Having these communities is crucial. It’s the difference between working alone and fighting in the dark and being successful and going from height to height, ”said Griffin.
“Your network is your future fortune,” she said. Take responsibility for this future value by expanding your support network.
Griffin suggests joining industry-relevant social media groups and commenting frequently so that your name and face become known to members. Once you are familiar with the group, they will help you take your career to the next level. Then you can use your experience to help others.
Invest in professional development
Personal finance author Dana Sitar worked with freelancers before becoming a full-time freelance writer earlier this year.
She noted a “clear difference in the autonomy that those with freelance experience expect and initiate.
Freelancer, she said, “got used to building our own careers, making our way, and being 100 percent responsible for developing our own caregivers, as people have done,” she said. (Note: Sitar is a former author and editor of The Penny Hoarder who is now a freelance writer.)
Work experience on both sides of the freelance gap taught Sitar that “a full-time job does not mean more job security than a full-time freelancer that means security in your income,” she said.
In order to maintain a pipeline of work, long-term freelancers must be proactive in marketing and professional development.
When freelancers treat their work like a company, they can identify missing skills and knowledge, find ways to grow, and keep the pipeline running. Professional development not only leads to more work and money, but can also be worthwhile.
If your company has no mentoring or training opportunities, you need to identify and strengthen weak skills to make yourself more attractive to your current or future employer. Freelancers learn this by trying them out and taking market trends into account.
Not sure what to learn? Ask your network!
Get used to fixed or hunger work cycles
The pandemic has led to work cycles between feast and hunger in many industries. Reopening is a start and stop. Recovery is also likely. Many workers will experience uneven work levels indefinitely, which can lead to stress or financial insecurity.
These ebb and flow are part of the job for freelancers. Intelligent freelancers use it to their advantage. Go backburner projects in slow times, invest in professional development, or relax by taking a day off. When the work is busy, get back to work.
Ultimately, these mental changes are means of promoting resilience. Although we can all plan for the future, none of us know what will happen next. It feels overwhelming and intimidating in these times. But there is a downside: uncertainty opens up new opportunities.
With agility, resilience, a strong network and commitment to professional development, you can create your own happiness in any work environment.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com