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In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.
A bonus chapter covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field.
Starting a freelance career means leaving behind your current situation. No matter what that situation is, you'll have to answer the same two questions. First, how will you end your current situation well? And second, how can you use what you gained there? We'll look at possible answers of these questions whether you're coming from full employment, partial employment, or unemployment. First, full employment. If you decide to keep your job and freelance in your spare time, I recommend you to not do the same thing for both jobs.
You're likely to get bored and your employer might actually see outside activity as unfairly competitive. If you decide to leave, don't burn your bridges. It might be tempting to yell, "So long!" on the way out the door, but you know what? They might be your number one best source for future work. That leads us to using what you gained because the biggest asset you'll take with you is your network of professional connections. You'll also carry away valuable knowledge, but there's a catch. You should still respect the company's secrets even if you didn't sign a non-disclosure agreement.
You might get a quick client by selling out your old employer, but you'll also get a reputation as someone who can't be trusted. Transitioning from partial employment, such as working 20 hours a week is similar to transitioning from full employment, but with a few twists. The first is that it might not be as clear whether you should quit. On one hand, a part-time job is a good financial crutch. On the other hand, like all crutches, it could keep you from truly embracing your future.
My advice is, whatever you do, make it definite. Where it makes sense, announce your decision. And if you're keeping your part-time job, at least consolidate your hours, so they fit in with your new freelancing career. As for using what you gained, the same caveats apply as for full-time employment. Use your connections and general knowledge but give past secrets the respect they deserve. Finally, we come to transitioning from unemployment. This is perhaps the toughest one psychologically to deal with.
I recommend two things. First, you'll need to get back into the work habit. And the only way to do that is to start. The problem is often in figuring out what that means. That is, what tasks will actually help build your future. By watching this course, you've already taken the first step, and the tasks described here will help to get you going. If you're coming from unemployment it might be hard to see what you've gained from your current situation, but you did get something that most 9 to 5ers lack; perspective.
If it was unwanted unemployment, let the memory of it drive you to succeed. If it was by choice, remember its benefits during the tough times to come as a way to relax and de-stress. Your immediate past is an especially valuable resource because we're a forgetful species. We forget skills, we forget what we did, we forget about other people, and other people forget about us. Wherever you're coming from, the transition to freelancing is a chance to continue and capitalize on all the good parts of your previous situation.
So, strike while the iron is hot.
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