If you’re really determined, you can survive as a freelancing web worker. It takes a few months of trial and error, learning all you can, and finding the tools and processes that work for you. After that, most people are glad to find that they’ve survived the hard part, regardless of the obstacles and naysayers.
But it’s one thing to survive as a web worker. To thrive, on the other hand, happens on a completely different level.
Surviving versus thriving
Survival means staying alive, continuing your existence as a web worker. This isn’t necessarily an easy feat. Web working isn’t an easy decision to make, especially if you’re coming from a traditional office environment. With all the obstacles in the way of successful web working, it’s almost puzzling why it’s a growing trend. But if you can regularly pay your bills with the work that you do, and you can do it remotely, then you know you’ve got what it takes to survive.
Unlike survival, thriving is a mindset that allows you to fulfill more than just your basic needs. Thriving is about setting career goals , meeting them, and feeling a deep sense of personal fulfillment when it’s comes to your work.
So how does a web worker thrive?
Be active in planning your career.
If you’re freelancing, observe how you get new work. What percentage of your current clients came to you, and what percentage did you seek out? Do you wait for offers to drop in your inbox or do you actively offer your services to the clients you want? It’s good to have a healthy mix of both, but waiting for offers to happen puts your career in the hands of your future clients rather than your own.
Think about your top ideal clients. What would you have to do to get them? Or, if clients are irrelevant to you, what is your dream project? Knowing what you really want and taking the steps to attain it is the difference between working with passion and working just to pay the bills.
Focus on getting better.
Merlin Mann recently gave an inspiring talk entitled “How to Blog”. In that talk, he had one particular slide that contained everything he new about blogging. The last line of that slide read: Get better.
This is something we should all make an effort to do, whether we blog or not. If we are unmindful of the work we do, we’re prone to repeat the same mistakes multiple times, stay stagnant, and be left behind by other people who work more deliberately than we do. Thriving doesn’t mean meeting the minimum standards, it’s about exceeding the standards you’ve set for yourself and constantly raising them. Doing this shows that you have pride in your work, and that the time you devote to it isn’t just about the paycheck – it’s about the work itself.
Look for jobs that excite you.
What is your criteria for accepting job offers or answering online ads? Is it just the pay, the prestige, or the scope of the project itself?
It’s important to occasionally create work that excites you and encourages you to get up early because you can’t wait to start doing it. While these types of projects tend to be more of the exception than the rule, it’s still important to get them when the opportunity arises. They can serve as a refreshing reminder of why you got into web working in the first place.
Do you think you’re a thriving web worker? What types of projects do you feel the most passionate about?