Is Boredom Hurting Your Freelance Career?

Posted: June 22nd, 2009
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Photo by AliceNWondrlnd (Flickr)

Photo by AliceNWondrlnd (Flickr)

One of the greatest perks of being a freelancer, if not the best, is the ability to control the direction of our careers. After all, we are the CEO of our own business and it’s success and our happiness depends strictly on the decisions we make. Unfortunately, it is easily to lose sight of this as we become busy with our day to day work.  The tendency is to fall into a routine of working just to pay the bills without really enjoying what we do. In essence, the passion in our careers begins to wane.

If you ever had a regular job at the office, doesn’t this pattern sound familiar? In most jobs, this is fairly common since your work is controlled by a higher being, namely a supervisor, leaving you to do what someone else tells you. Many have left their jobs to become freelancers for this very reason. They see themselves as a slave to their job.

The irony for freelancers is that we tend to take for granted our own directional control and fall into a comfort zone where, if we have work and are busy, we should be happy with that. What results, though, is that the work eventually becomes monotonous if it doesn’t challenge our skills. A reality is that in order to be happy in our careers, we have to grow and evolve our skill set. A conscious decision has to made to do so, though.

This is where the dilemma arises. To evolve our career, we usually need to take time off our work to take classes or learn on our own. If we’re lucky we might be able to find a “learning” project where we can learn new skills while completing it. These opportunities don’t always knock our door, though. So usually the case is that the time we use to work and make money is sacrificed for learning new skills and opting to work is done.

So what is a freelancer to do?

Ask yourself what you want to be doing one year from now? Nearly every freelancer envisions themselves being the best in their field yet find themselves doing work that once challenged their skills, but now no longer. Think about what skills you want to aquire and what type of new challenging work you want to perform.

What do you need to do to get there?  There are a million ways to learn new skills, from taking classes to finding the experts in your field and seeking their advice  or even learning on your own with solo projects. Whatever it is, there is always a way.

Create a plan of action. There is always a path to greatness yet it takes commitment on your part to go down it. That commitment requires a plan set in stone and you to actually fulfill it. Skip a few hours of TV time week and take that class down at your local college or find one of the limitless amount of tutorials over the internet. Create your own projects utilizing these new skills for your portfolio.

To go about growing in our careers and eliminating our work boredom, we have to go that extra mile and work for it. The best freelancers go out there continually advance their skills and take on new challenges. There’s absolutely no reason, though, why you can’t be one of them.

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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