How can you stay busy as a freelancer? In this video, Cory Lebson discusses what you should be doing—even while you are busy with work—so that you remain busy when your current set of projects end.
- You may be comfortable, and enjoy your current freelance work, the types of UX activities that you're doing, and your current set of client co-workers. But be aware that as a freelancer, all good things will come to an end. So keep yourself adaptable. Open yourself up, not only to your favorite UX work activities, but also to other UX activities that you may not fully enjoy. Be willing to be flexible to different kinds of work spaces or work environments than you find ideal. Let colleagues know that you're willing to travel as needed, even if you don't love travel.
And if you really need to, be prepared to modulate your rate to stay in touch with a market that shifts over time. By staying flexible with the kinds of work that you take on, you can stay busy. Remember that being a freelancer means that things that you don't enjoy will also come to an end, and these will once again be replaced by your optimal UX activities. You also need to keep at your business development efforts, and be wary of projects that take you completely out of the business development game. If a project is so intense, for so long that you no longer have time for business development, your future prospects could be impacted.
So your top priority, even while you do those intense projects, is to carve out some time to still work on business development. Recruiters and employers who want to hire me will frequently tell me that I should be willing to accept their lower rates, in exchange for long-term, full-time projects. But I firmly believe that bigger is not better. In the long run, you'll be more successful with a variety of diverse eggs in your basket. You should also strive to work on a variety of smaller, non-full-time projects, instead of one large project that takes up all your time for an extended duration.
Try to plan to have these smaller projects overlap. If you can make the puzzle pieces fit, you hedge your bets, even if you need to commit to more than full-time for a short period. Projects, and UX roles on projects, often don't have the timing you expect. So, in truth, you're often not gonna be working as intensely as you planned.
- Managing your freelance workload
- Keeping your freelance pipeline full
- Letting go of perfectionism
- Working with primary and extended stakeholders
- Tips for balancing stakeholder needs
- Working with freelancers as a UX manager or project manager