Freelancing as a viable career choice for creative women seems to have exploded over the last couple of years! With flexibility, the luxury to design your own dream position and the bonus of working from home as major benefits of the freelance life, women are working from home in droves. Right now, we’re seeing a huge shift in the way that we clock in, get important things done AND take home the bacon.
Because Glitter Guide has always been a place for creative ladies to congregate, where better to detail everything that goes into successfully working from home? Our contributor, Chelsea Jackson of Hazel + Scout, is here with seven tips for mastering a work-from-home career.
I started my freelancing journey a number of years ago. With a blog, an aspiring styling business and a ton of creative outlets under my belt, the transition seemed natural, but honestly, the learning curve was slow going. It took me years to find my footing in the competitive freelance world and it’s only in the last six months or so that I’ve really mastered the juggling act of being my own boss lady.
Because looking back is the best way to isolate your mistakes and plan for a better future (gotta love that hindsight, am I right?), I decided to glance back at all of my time spent figuring out the freelance hustle so that I could share some of my best tips with you.
1. Make A Plan.
Without a solid plan, you can’t expect yourself to follow through with all of the tasks on your to-do list. Make a plan (with details like exactly when and where you will finish each task) and stick to it. Is something unrealistic? Set a time when you will be able to do it and put it out of your mind for now.
2. Refocus Yourself.
The biggest thing I’ve learned from working at home is that you have to be your own task master and refocus often. Try setting an alarm to go off every hour at the same time. Check in with yourself and see whether or not the last hour was spent being productive. If it was, great! If not, something needs to change. Reevaluate your workflow each time you check in and tweak the things that just aren’t helping.
Is multitasking dragging you down? Discover 5 Ways Multitasking Is Hurting Your Motivation.
3. Rely On The Right Tools.
Every good freelancer has an arsenal of tools at her disposal. Knowing and using the best ones for your workflow is a key part of working from home! I personally love Asana for keeping track of projects (it’s even what we use at Glitter Guide!) and the Poketo Project Planner for laying everything out on paper. Get to know all of the features of your Gmail account (canned responses and sheets keep me going) and never discount good old paper and pencil.
Figuring out a system that works for you is the best way to get organized and get on track for success!
4. Have A Safety Net.
If you’re striking out on your own, it’s important to set aside a safety net of funds to help ease the transition or in case of emergency. Depending on your expenses and your unique household finances, the amount you’ll need can vary greatly. What’s most important is that you have a bit tucked away to get you through the time you’ll spend building your business and finding your niche. If you’re already an established freelancer, set some money aside for unforeseeable expenses. Your peace of mind will thank you!
5. Know When To Dream.
Approaching your freelance career with practicality is all well and good, but remember to dream big, too! By thinking outside the box and going out for projects that might seem larger than life, you’re making room for yourself to grow. Make big leaps of faith but divide the corresponding tasks into bite-sized pieces. This will help you balance the day to day while creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that reaffirm your decision to freelance.
Thinking of taking a big risk? Read on for 5 Ways You’ll Benefit From Going Outside Your Comfort Zone.
6. Increase Your Value.
Improving your skills is something you should always be building upon, but it’s extra important to grow your knowledge base as a freelancer. In an even more competitive work environment, it pays to flex your creative muscles! One of the most difficult tasks freelancers face is learning how valuable their time and skills are, so that they can price themselves fairly. Increasing your skill set will directly reflect itself in your billable value.
Places like Skillshare are a self-employed freelancer’s best friend!
7. You Can’t Do It All.
When you are working from home or for yourself, there’s so much to get done that sometimes you have to resign yourself to the fact that it won’t always be finished…and that’s OK! You can use all the apps for keeping you on task, pretty planners and to-lists you want, but at some point you’ll have to know when to step back and save things for tomorrow. A sane freelancer is a happy freelancer!