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We live in an era of uncertainty and many of us will end up having to face transitions in our careers–either because of the situation, we find ourselves in or because we want to experiment with doing something we love. Many of us will hustle, learn from the mistakes, and grow from these experiences.
We might move into other careers, take a break, start something new or move into freelancing. None of these changes will be easy, but with the right mindset and skillset, we can overcome the transition blues and get ourselves comfortable with our new careers.
It may be confusing at the beginning to figure out everything. However, having gone through this crisis myself, I am sharing five things that went a long way in helping me handle the transition.
1. Be Prepared That Everything Will Change
You might have been fully occupied from 8 to 8 or 9 to 5, even around the clock in your job. You always had something to do. But that might not be the case when you start out as a freelancer. Some days you will have a project to work on and some days you don’t. You will feel uncertain about yourself. When this happens, remember that this is what you signed up for–the whole gamut of being your own boss.
2. Have A Pet Project
A pet project can be something that is related to your freelancing work, but you are not doing it for money. In fact, it would be good to begin with a pet project, because you have complete ownership, it’s likely to be something you always wanted to do and there is no external pressure on you to complete it, which means you can do it at your own pace.
When I decided to start freelance writing, I was lost. I started micro-blogging on Instagram and built a community. Over time, I got an appreciation for my writing. That gave me confidence in my writing skills and a huge boost to keep going.
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3. Develop A Unique Style
Add your own signature style to everything you do. This could be a certain way of writing or dealing with people, or personal touches that you add to your deliverables. This makes you memorable. You don’t have to try too hard to be unique in order to succeed, but even if you reinvent the wheel, do it in your own style.
4. Have A Strong Work Ethic And Be Disciplined
Treat your freelancing just like your regular job. Sit in a dedicated space. Have some rules set for yourself in your way of working or how you approach clients. Dedicate some time to your work every day. When you don’t have a project, do something else–build your social media presence, network, polish up your website.
5. Consume Limited Content
I struggled with this myself. Being a content creator, there was an ocean to dive into right in front of me and I wanted to get a pearl out of it. I immersed myself in content to the point that I lost track of the kind of content I was consuming. From that perspective, I realized that managing social media consumption is very important.
Do your research. But see to that, the research you do is timed, serves the purpose, and isn’t inconclusive. I started keeping track of every Google search, labeling my intention, conclusion, and action plan based on it. It helped me stay focused.
Last but not the least, mindset is everything. Trust yourself and take the plunge. You never know whether it works out or not unless you try it. It’s the journey that matters more than the destination.
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