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Choosing assignments

From: Freelancing Fundamentals

Video: Choosing assignments

Even after you've started to make it as a freelancer, you'll have some choice over which jobs to take. I see such choices as a battle to balance three qualities in my life: security, variety, and success. Each job will have some quantity of each. Let's look at how to measure one against another. First is security. Jobs that score high on this quality are those that offer full-time work, are with established clients, involve work that you've done before, or that you know will pay reliably and well.

Choosing assignments

Even after you've started to make it as a freelancer, you'll have some choice over which jobs to take. I see such choices as a battle to balance three qualities in my life: security, variety, and success. Each job will have some quantity of each. Let's look at how to measure one against another. First is security. Jobs that score high on this quality are those that offer full-time work, are with established clients, involve work that you've done before, or that you know will pay reliably and well.

Moving on, some jobs offer variety. These include those with new clients so you can expand your base in case another client falls away. You might be using new skills to do things you haven't done before, or you might find yourself in a new environment, for example, using unfamiliar software or working in a new and interesting location. I value variety because it keeps my skills and outlook fresh, which in turn helps me stay motivated, and marketable. Finally, we have that nebulous criterion: success.

Jobs that fulfill your hunger for success might change your business in a positive way, or give you more of what you want. But the first and foremost measure of success is whether an opportunity helps you reach your long-term goals. To measure that, let's go back to a list from earlier in the course where we defined career goals. Here I listed some common reasons that people freelance, and then you added your own, and went through an exercise to pick out the ones that were most important to you. When you're faced with conflicting opportunities, revisit that list.

It will lift you above the immediate question and carry you back to your inner needs and desires. For example, let's say a client wants to fly you into their office for an intense two-week job preparing for a product launch. It's in a city you always wanted to visit, they'll pay for your flight and hotel, and you'll have a few hours every evening to wander around. On the other hand that two-week project will prevent you from taking a lucrative contract with a local client who has always been good to you.

So, do you take the job? The answer depends on a lot of factors including your relationship with both clients, how they will be affected if you say no, whether you expect more work from them in the future, and so on. But ultimately, you're going to have to answer to your own goals. If one of your goals was to travel and work remotely, then you will be biased to say yes. If on the other hand, your original goal was to have good pay and more time with your family, you're more likely to say no. Of course your goals will change over time, but I think your original statement of intent is a good touchstone when faced with such choices.

And really, my overriding point is to remind you to take the long view, especially because such dilemmas can cause anxiety whenever they crop up. Remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing, and you'll find that such questions answer themselves.

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This video is part of

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Freelancing Fundamentals

42 video lessons · 24267 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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