Regardless of whether you have a “permanent” job or not – you, me and everyone else are now freelancers.As Dan Pink predicted is his 2002 book “Free Agent Nation” – we’ll all be working for ourselves in the future.
Well the future has arrived and what that means is:
- You need to manage your Personal Brand and reputation. Perception is reality. So unless you can manage the perception that people have of you (both online and offline), you won’t stand out and won’t attract the opportunities and rewards on an ongoing basis.
- You need to cultivate a strong network. Your network is both your support structure and the source of your future opportunities. So what are you doing to cultivate yours?
- You need to provide tremendous value on an ongoing basis to any firm or client you work with. Just “doing your job” won’t cut it. If you’re in a permanent employment situation, you must treat your employer like a client – i.e. deliver measurable value and quality service in a style which no one else can replicate.
- You need to take full responsibility for your own personal development and growth instead of relying on your employer or training department to develop you.
- You need options. Freelancers can’t rely on one client and one income stream. And neither can you. First and foremost, your loyalty should be to yourself and your family. So whether it’s a side business from home, an online venture or property investments – ensure you have options and are not reliant on one employer / client. It’s too high a risk.
- You need to be one step ahead in every respect. Market knowledge, new skills, the latest technology and ways of doing business in your niche.
- You must learn to embrace change and uncertainty. Freelancing always involves uncertainty of all kinds.
The Litmus Test
Some of you will see the above as a little scary.
Some will see it as an opportunity.
That’s the real litmus test. Those that view the above as a chance to do great work and create a better lifestyle will be the winners in the new economy.
Those that retreat and wait for things to “get back to normal” will be waiting a long time. This is the “New Normal” so unless you step up and start behaving like a professional freelancer, you’re likely to be in a victim of change rather than a beneficiary of it.
Which of these areas do you need to start working on?