What’s the Next Step in a Freelancing Career?
If you’re working for an employer, your career patch can be pretty clear: work hard and move up the corporate ladder, hopefully winding up somewhere near the top. But when you’re freelancing, your career path can be a lot less clear. We all want to land more clients and earn more per hour, but where do we want to wind up?
A Creative Agency of Your Own?
One logical career path is to keep taking on more clients and hiring a few creative professionals yourself. The end result is a creative agency that allows you to take on more and bigger projects. Once you get to this point, it’s relatively easy to continue to grow — but there are also a few drawbacks, like the fact that you’re responsible for paying those folks you now employ.
A Product of Your Own?
Another option that many freelancers seem interested in is creating some sort of a product out your freelancing skills, shifting your income from being based on your services to being based on a product. Such businesses can look very different: your product could be a web application, a book or dozens of other things. The switch can make it easier to increase your income, but also can take a whole new set of business skills beyond what freelancing requires.
Taking a Great Job?
Not everyone wants to freelance forever. Perhaps you have a dream job in mind, one that you want to work towards with your freelancing experiences. That can mean taking on particular types of projects, so that you can make sure opportunity comes knocking. Considering an employer can offer certain benefits, although a reduced level of freedom, it’s no wonder that many freelancers move back and forth from freelancing to employment as we find opportunities.
Sticking With Freelancing?
For many people, the flexibility of freelancing is key. You may want to increase your rates over the years or specialize in one particular niche, but sticking with freelancing and avoiding adding frills is definitely an option. Other career paths can require very different types of responsibility, as well as fundamental shifts in how you do business, and the switch isn’t comfortable for many people?
What Does Your Career Path Look Like?
When I originally started freelancing full-time, I assumed that sooner or later, I would find a full-time job and cut back on my freelancing. That hasn’t happened to me, although I know plenty of freelancers who have taken jobs (and just as many who have left them) over that time. Career paths change and have to remain flexible, especially if you’re freelancing. That said, though, it’s worth having an idea of where you want to wind up in the long run. Not only is it often necessary to work towards reaching those goals, but simply having those goals give you a reason to keep moving forward and finding new opportunities.
Have you asked yourself what your ideal career path looks like? Where do you want freelancing to take you?