5 Steps to Professional Development as a Freelancer

Freelancing can be isolating. The flexibility of freelancing is a double-edged sword: on one hand, a professional can make their own hours and work from anywhere. On the other hand, a freelancer often works from home or at odd hours – and it can be lonely to work in that kind of solitude. 

» Top New Products

The Truth About Real Estate PLR Article
cs_image_0

Helps  You  Get  Into  The  Center  Of  A  Profitable  Market  In  Real  Estate  Industry.                                             

$0.00
Kindle Money Mastery 2.0
cs_image_1

The  most  proven  step  by  step  system  to  making  money  with  kindle  publishing.                                                 

$97.00
Renegade mental golf
cs_image_2

Coaching  system  that  will  attack  mental  roadblocks  and  get  you  into  peak  performance  form.                   

$57.00
Raising Happy Children
cs_image_3

Vital  Knowledge  on  Raising  Kids  That  will  Never  be  taught  at  School                                                                 

$27.00
Organic Health Protocol
cs_image_4

Live  a  healthier,  more  active  life    with  a  simple  but  revolutionary  7-day  program                                     

$9.00
Keeping the Cat Spray at Bay
cs_image_5

  Tried  It  All  To  Stop  The  Spraying?  This  Weird  Trick  From  A  Cat  Behaviorist  Might  Help.                         

$37.00
Mind Power Special Report
cs_image_6

Special  report  reveals  practical  information  for  ordinary  people  to  Leverage  the  mind  to  produce  extraordinary  results.

$9.97
How To Increase Pitching Velocity
cs_image_7

Discover  How  To  Add  5  -  10  MPH  To  Your  Fastball  Velocity  In  Just  16  Weeks  Or  Less                                     

$197.00
ClickBank ad rotator
cs_image_8

An  alternative  method  of  generating  ad  revenue  from  your  websites  and  earn  dollars.                                 

$67.00
Tick Data Suite Forex
cs_image_9

Tick  Data  Suite  is  geared  towards  individuals  who  are  not  impressed  by  huge  colored.                               

$97.00
My Back Pain Coach
cs_image_10

Relieve  from  back  pain,  a  unusual  16  minute  8  movement  method,forcing  your  body  to  re-balance.           

$19.95
Lottery Smasher
cs_image_11

You  can  learn  the  method  to  smash  the  odds  by  clicking  here                                                                                 

$127.00

 

Of course, loneliness can be resolved by going to a coffee shop to work or meeting up with other freelancers for a coworking session. The more serious threat to a freelancer’s career is the lack of professional development and mentorship that would otherwise be available in a traditional office environment. It’s incumbent on freelancers to seek out their own development and mentoring opportunities to continue to grow professionally. Often, there’s no formal corporate ladder, no regular one-on-ones, and no development benefits available to freelancers. 

 

For a freelancer seeking professional development and mentorship opportunities, here are some steps to take to branch out and grow your skills.

Complete a skills evaluation

Part of learning where you can develop is identifying areas of strength and weakness. This is an important first step to your professional development. “While it can be tempting to rely on a mentor to give you guidance on where you need to improve, you’ll get much more out of any mentorship relationship if you’ve done some self-reflection first,” writes Entrepreneur. 

 

There are a variety of tools to help you understand your work style. Some popular tools include: 

 

If you don’t have the time or the budget to take a formal assessment, ask trusted colleagues or clients to give you some feedback on where you could improve. It could be as simple as asking a client what they think they will need ten years down the road: for instance, what coding language would be useful to learn? What business trends or customer preferences are they planning for? Map your development around the needs of your customers to stay sharp.

Create a professional development plan

Once you have a sense of where you can grow, create a professional development plan. Flexjobs says this step involves deciding on which of two areas you should focus your effort: “learning new skills or developing existing ones.” Essentially, do you want to become an expert in something you’re already good at, or do you want to broaden your skillset to learn new things?

 

There’s no right answer to this question. But, it does help guide freelancers to spend their time thoughtfully. When you have a path to focus on, then you can begin to carve out time each day to practice a skill, enroll in a class, attend a seminar, or listen to podcasts. It also gives you direction when working with a career coach or mentor.

Work with a coach

JetCake is just one agency where freelance developers can take advantage of coaching and a network of professionals to get career development. Our coaching focuses on working through a series of real-world projects that will hone your skills in effective communication, accurate estimation, agile methodologies, product concepts, and more. Once a freelance developer completes this phase in their relationship with JetCake, and successfully completes a project with a client, they will have access to JetCake Developer Network for ongoing support, learning, and growth. Codementor is a similar organization that offers live mentorship on freelance projects. 

 

Other freelancers work with career coaches to help get feedback on their business, skillset, and growth. A career coach can weigh in on your LinkedIn profile, business development plan, and help you expand your network much in the same way a traditional mentor would. They can be expensive though, so make sure you go into a career coaching relationship with a specific goal in mind.

Keep in touch with former colleagues

Harvard Business Review recommends trying to schedule two substantive contacts per month with former colleagues to combat freelancer isolation and to make sure you’re apprised of industry trends. “Seek out real, regular interactions with former colleagues. If lunch at the old office isn’t feasible, there’s always a sustained IM chat on Facebook, an outdoor activity, or an invitation to dinner at your home. Such connections maintain continuity in your life. They also help you stay on top of what’s happening in your industry in a way that mere consumption of media can’t.” Keeping in touch with colleagues can help you find new business as well as learn about your industry.

Join a coworking space

Join a coworking space or another professional development organization, like Toastmasters. Coworking spaces frequently offer guest presentations or seminars to their members. Simply talking to people over lunch can also bring new learning opportunities across your desk. Find a way to network frequently and keep your big goals in mind as you interact with other freelancers, colleagues, and coaches.

This article was originally published by JetCake.

Post Author: Zoe Marier

Avatar
Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.