Words to the Wise

October 14, 2019

Professional: “Clocking-In with the Gig Economy” – October 14, 2019

The clock in the lower right corner is really getting on your nerves. It’s not your immediate focus, but as your glances become more frequent you can sense the impending pileup of unbillable time. The minutes that pass without progress create a kind of internal anxiety, the sort of which can be almost paralyzing.

If you’re one of the more than 56 million freelancers in the U.S., there’s a more than fair chance you’ve gone through something similar. Most independent contractors are well aware of the trade-off. There’s no paid “float time” working for yourself like there is working for superiors in a salaried position. Nor is there any internal sounding board for quality control. In a solo framework, you’re both the boss and employee.

Even tougher knowing you can’t let either slack (although, some might be tempted to fire and rehire themselves on occasion).

Yet, there emerges a real question about how to hold both to account. The meter is always ticking in the minds of most freelancers, so any shortfall becomes front-and-center in thought—and in the bank balance.

Finding a common sense of place, purpose, and promise.

According to an Intuit and Emergent Research forecast, another 7.9 million Americans are estimated to join the contingent workforce by 2021, a current growth rate that will fuel the ascendance of freelancers to majority status in less than ten years. That said, the increase in number won’t equate to a successful transition for every new entry across the board. Being great at what you do has to find equal partners in where you do it and why.

Experts suggest that going it alone is much easier when you put yourself in a place to succeed. That means creating a workspace that’s uniquely reflective of your interests and passions. For creatives, it’s essential to set your mind at ease before you set it to work. Ideally, most will prefer surroundings where supplies are close at hand and distractions are kept to a minimum.

In terms of purpose, freelancing has a lot going for it—especially if you have good fortune to see ethical value in what your clients bring to the table. Here at Resume Professors, we take a lot of pride in helping others reach for and achieve their professional goals. An old adage goes that no selling is involved when the product sells itself. To us, that “product” is truly a living, breathing one in the form of the people we serve.

The promise of working for yourself is that it translates into a higher quality of life. It takes time, patience, and a lot of sweat equity to get there, but believers in breaking away from the corporate mold will tell you the financial numbers improve with consistent effort and professional networking, as does the personal satisfaction of going your own way. Confidence builds exponentially when great work consistently turns into more work. The only drawback? Doing it again, and again.

The resume is the roadmap for productivity.

Much like successful businesses depend on keeping an accurate count of the inventory they have in stock, so should individuals keep a running tab of their skills and achievements. In our preferred format, the resume can be thought of as a positioning document that lays out the roadmap for productivity. It also provides the means to put the good and less-than-good of the past into context and serves as a guidepost for keeping you honest in the present and moving forward into the future.

Perhaps even more importantly, given the emphasis most clients place on what you’ve done lately—over the last three-to-five years in particular—the resume is an indispensable tool in identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

Better yet, it’s all there for you to see.

At a glance.

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