Usually, web designers are very busy people that even when they don't have projects in queue, their preparation is primordial and it is a very time consuming activity. The Internet and the art of making websites evolve at a very fast rate and it's difficult to keep the same rhythm no matter how talented or experienced web designer you may be. In the very few free moments, it's quite normal to ask yourself if your professional life is in fact what you expect and, if the answer is yes, how to improve it. From the perspective of a web designer, when working into an agency, the professional life evolution is pretty simple: from the entry-level to higher positions in the same structure or in other companies.
Being freelancer, the situation is a little bit different: you don't have any standards to follow in order to obtain, let's say the statute of a senior web designer. And much more, a freelancer works, in the most cases, more than eight hours employees, and many times the idea of career evolution is neglected or even abandoned. It is not a solution!!!
The amazing benefits of freelancing activities (working from home, from your bed, or making your own schedule) are truly important and attractive for everyone but any web designer (in fact every person) must have a long term plan regarding the professional evolution. Therefore, have you ever thought what will you do in the next three years or how do you imagine yourself after five or seven years? Anyway, instead of waiting for the end of world, I suggest you prepare for the future; and this article will help you.
Career planning is very important, so don't ever ignore this aspect! The reason that you are a freelancer isn't valid; even from this position you can evolve and, in addition to great efforts, the result could be very satisfactory.
But, how a freelancer may evolve and most important, how he/she can quantify the progress? A mandatory condition to evolving, no matter if you are freelancer or not is to be patient and adopt a strategy based on small, but firm steps. Even geniuses needed patience and hard work to realize the greatest items and inventions. In conclusions, before establishing fixed rules to evolve and track the progress, it is recommended to emotionally self prepare. Definitely, you must be optimist, patient and willing to work to achieve fabulous things.
1. Track your progress pragmatically and objectively
It isn't a new brilliant idea to effectively track your progress, but it's still an ignored concept, both by common people and governments. It isn't only my conclusion; it is the idea of Bill Gates in his letter for 2013. Yep, tracking the small steps and establishing a very clear desideratum is the key to success. I don't think that it is the perfect solution but I have a simple, but efficient method: I set a daily, weekly and monthly task to accomplish. Every each day I propose myself to accomplish a specific task, it gives me the faith that I am working and that the day wasn't lost. The weekly task confirmed me that I really worked and the progress became sustainable. The monthly desideratum is clearly, a very good indicator that I am on the good way.
2. Become aware of the evolution
Let's suppose that you are tracking very well your progress well, it's not enough to have a real progress. Personally, I compare a freelancer with an athlete that is training. The sportive trains hard and runs many miles; he tracks his evolution and records the times. It is the good manner of training but isn't enough; he must set up higher standards everyday to be better is the real progress. The same mentality is suitable for a freelancer: he must be aware that he must constantly sharpen his skills, get more clients and bigger projects. Somehow, the rate of growing isn't very important (but not ignorable, of course), what really matters is to have a positive trend.
3. Solutions- asking for bigger projects and hiring people
A freelancer evolution supposes that he is contacted more often by clients that want to assign to him most important projects. Unfortunately, a freelancer has a limited capacity of work. The day is still 24 hours long and no additional time may be bought. Therefore, there are two scenarios:
- The freelancer may sort the projects and some clients will be refused;
- The freelancer may hire other people and start a "small size affair".
The majority of freelancers prefer the first solution that is more commodes, but a better idea, in order to progress, especially from the financial perspective, is to establish a small team around you.
4. The road from a simple freelancer to a creative CEO
100% sure, the road from a simple freelancer to a creative CEO that manages tens of employees isn't for everyone, but it isn't impossible. There are risks and many unseen dangers when you create a team and you don't have a clear idea about the success, while from the posture of a freelancer, the risks are lower, mostly when you are a real expert.
Each individual has his own mentality but anyway, to evolve in carrier is a necessity and each one of us has its own idea about what really supposes this generic term, evolution. Some people associate the progress with the monthly revenue; others with the higher number of projects while another part with the recognition of other people. Personally, I consider the evolution being a mixture of all the mentioned aspects what is your opinion, do you agree with me?
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