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5 Necessary Skills you Need to Succeed in Freelancing (The Future of Work)

The world is changing faster than we know it. We’re in the very beginning stages of a massive technological and workforce revolution, and there’s a lot more that will change over the next 10 years that will make many of the recent advancements seem quickly outdated.

The way we work – the technologies we use, environments we work in, and how we source opportunities – are due for rapid and massive transformation.

We are calling this transformation the Future of Work, and it’s already begun in significant ways.

Increasingly people are seeking the autonomy to do what they want to do when they want to do it, and they want their work to have meaning.

This very desire for autonomy with a purpose is manifesting itself in a number of significant ways not least of which is the rise of the next wave of freelancers that is expected to increase to 70 million by 2020.

Welcome to the world of First Name, Last Name Inc. Individuals are their own companies and their own brands. Yes, your reputation precedes you. The walls are thin and the lines are disappearing between work and play, personal and professional.

As more people will need to rely on their skill sets and behavior to create financial security for themselves and their families in the coming years, here are some important qualities to cultivate in developing as a successful freelancer with an enduring career.

1. Show self-discipline.

Self-discipline is essential to being a freelancer. Without the persuasion of a boss to ensure you’re at work on time every day, it’s easy to get caught up in other activities.

2. Be confident.

To be a successful freelancer, you must be confident in your ability. Confidence is extremely important because clients need to know they can trust your advice and direction.

3. Establish trust.

As an independent contractor, clients must know they can trust you. Testimonials from previous jobs are the best way clients gauge a freelancer’s trustworthiness.

4. Be financially savvy.

Once you learn the qualities to be a successful freelancer, you also need to acquire the tools to make sure you are protected financially. Many freelancers experience the biggest pain around getting paid on time and finding new work.

5. Know when to walk away.

Just because a client needs your services doesn’t mean they will treat or value you how you would want. If you hear negative comments about a client or get a feeling that they are not going to abide by the contract, then be prepared to walk away.

(This is a summary of the original post found at the FreelancersUnion.org website. Click HERE to view the full post by Alex Abelin and Scott Annan.)

December 20, 2015

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