How Can You Successfully Grow Your Career Through Contract Work?

In recent years, we’ve been hearing more and more about the “gig economy.”

While the traditional 40-hour work week is still the norm for most of the population, many have opted to begin taking on freelance or contract work to make a living.

Still, others are hesitant to do so for a number of reasons. Aside from the uncertainty of working as a freelancer, one of the main concerns is that staying in such a line of work can bring your career as a whole to a halt.

In reality, this can’t be farther from the truth. In fact, working as a freelance can be incredibly beneficial to your overall career, for many reasons.


Tip #1: Continuously Improve Your Skills

In order to be successful as a freelancer, you absolutely need to continue honing your skills at all times.

You’ll essentially be interviewing for every single job you take on, so you’ll always want to be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition in terms of the skills you bring to the table – otherwise you won’t get paid.

(Compare this to a situation where a long-time employee who is “good enough” at his job probably won’t end up losing his position even if a more qualified candidate comes around.)

You’ll also need to hone other professional skills that are ancillary to the actual skills needed to complete a given task. We’ll get more into that in a bit.

Tip #2: Prove Your Initiative

Along with this last point, working as a freelancer means you have to fight for every job you get – even if no job is currently being advertised.

In other words, you need to show hustle, and you need to show that you can create value where others aren’t even aware of the possibility of such. For example, a freelance graphic designer might be perusing a website and realize that the site’s images and color scheme could use some updating, you’d want to reach out to the site’s owner to offer your services.

This ability to take initiative, to an employer, translates heavily into other areas. It shows that you actively look for ways to not just provide value to others, but to put your skills to good use, as well.

Tip #3: Adopt a Business Mindset

Lastly, something that’s often overlooked is that, to be successful as a freelancer, you need to adopt a business mindset.

As we said before, you need to be able to pinpoint times in which your valuable skills could benefit others. But you also need to learn how to market these abilities to get the attention of potential clients. And you also need to learn how to manage your time and money in order to continually turn a profit whenever you work a new gig.

In fact, proving that you have this business mindset might even be more impressive than proving you have certain job-related skills. While job-related skills are relatively common, these additional abilities are what will catch a future employer’s eye.


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