6 Tips for Transitioning from Office to Freelance Work 306

6 Tips for Transitioning from Office to Freelance Work

This article was written by Samantha, who has been freelancing for several years now and would never go back to her office job.

Abandoning the security nook of your office can be stressful for any freelancer-to-be. Your mind is flooded with questions and doubts as to your financing, your strategies to find new clients, and deciding on your rates.

You can at times experience an overwhelming feeling of dread and all kinds of fears about your job security. But as the freelance market continues to expand, it is now easier to brave these waves.

Among so many complexities that follow freelance life, there are a few tips you can follow in order to simplify your transition and make the most of your efforts along the way.

1. Treat it as a steady battle.

Most people feel that they should make the switch literally overnight, but the reality is completely different. First of all, there’s no need to quit your day job just yet. Unless there’s a conflict of interest for you to keep your position while looking for work on the side.

As you slowly build your portfolio, reviews and gain client trust as a freelancer, you can start planning for the day when you intend to fully make the move from your nine-to-five to your freelance gig.

At first, you’ll need to balance both, but in moderation, since you don’t want any of your projects to suffer. Think of it as a test run, when you can take on a small project as a freelancer before you start committing to serious work.

2. Save up before you quit.

As a paid employee, you enjoy all the perks of health, social and dental benefits. So this is the time to start thinking about those before you quit. Your future freelancing fee will need to cover everything, in addition to your livelihood, so prepare for the added expenses.

Moreover, you’ll need a starting budget to keep you going before you start earning steady money from regular projects, as it can be a long time before you establish ongoing relationships. Calculate how much you need for your life every month, and start saving up before you quit your job, so you’ll be covered for at least two months.

3. Research your niche.

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Most newbies either cast their freelance nets too wide or too narrow at first. Meaning they either opt for a single source of income. Or accept offers from far and wide, without considering their ability to cope with the workload.

Whatever your niche may be, do your homework to find out which networks and companies offer the best conditions for freelancers in your field. Reach out to at least several of them at once.

Then start preparing, perfecting and updating your pitch for future collaboration opportunities. See which of your emails received responses and which language works for which client.

4. Organize your work area.

While you won’t be traveling to an office every day, you need a designated workspace in your own home that will provide the comfort and means for completing your tasks distraction-free. That means removing clutter, positioning your table so that you have ample natural light, and creating enough storage space for folders and other essentials.

In order to protect your health, you’ll need to get a back-supportive chair. Find a good air purifier that will remove allergens and pollutants, and the right LED lights if you plan on working in the evenings. Prevention beats healing, and these initial investments will help you increase your productivity and enjoy your work even more.

5. Get in the habit of saving.

If you’ve already saved up for the first couple of months, don’t forget that this frugal mindset shouldn’t end there. On the contrary, now’s the time to continue applying the same thrifty principle to your everyday spending, in order to make sure you’ll have enough money when a dry-spill occurs. And it sure will, sooner or later.

When you get an unexpected project paid quickly, or some extra money for a quick job on the side, resist the urge to treat yourself, put it away for later. In case you need it for a sudden sick leave, you won’t have to worry about your inability to work for a few days. In case you survive the year healthy as ever – you’ll have a holiday budget to look forward to!

6. Decide on your fee.

Finally, one of the most stressful parts of becoming a freelancer is putting a price-tag on your knowledge and skills. Your salary will be of little help, so let go of the idea that it can be a point of reference. Start getting educated on the current market climate in your field of work.

Many freelance networks offer their own estimates. While you can ask around among your other freelance colleagues and then derive the best guess possible. In time, you’ll be able to grow that number as your experience accumulates, so keep your eye on the market trends and seize any opportunity that comes your way.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.