Posted on 21/10/2016 by Jerri Howlett
As important as it is to work your way up the food chain within your company, what I have found from working in a startup environment surrounded by self motivators is the importance of personal development in side projects.
My younger self would go into work to simply get the job done and make money to live for the weekend, but things have changed, and I now go in with the mindset of wanting to build my skill set each day. It’s extremely easy to become comfortable within your role and daily responsibilities, and it is at this point you stop learning and in turn growing.
With this thought in mind it is essential to take control and think outside of the box to develop. I am lucky enough to have a role which enables me to continuously progress, as the way in which we market ourselves changes with the trends. But if you find yourself at a point in your career/life twiddling your thumbs and wanting more, simply take a step back to see if the skill set you have could be put to use outside of work - could you freelance? And if the answer is no, there are a variety of ways in which you can join the freelance community by simply learning a new skill.
As mentioned in a previous blog, sites such as Eventbrite are a brilliant way of networking and learning about your desired skill/industry (even if it is alien from your current sector!). By attending the free events/seminars/courses provided you can begin to make a start on building your career outside of the office. Of course the initial stage of getting started can prove tricky, with one of the biggest factors I personally face being time. Working full time, and late some evenings, whilst maintaining the balance of downtime, gym and fun, it can be difficult to see how you could possibly find the time to freelance/learn a new skill. If you take a look on the Eventbrite website you will find that there are a number of events/courses/seminars on a daily basis that start of an evening (around 7/8pm) allowing you time to do both - leaving no room for excuses! When there are as many perks to freelancing as listed below, this should give you the push to bite the bullet with me and get the ball moving;
# Perk 1 - Using New Tools/Exploring New Areas
Are there tools/ares you wish to explore that you know would help develop your skill set and in turn your career that your company do not use? Learning new tools outside of the 9-5 allows you to suggest new ideas at your place of work, or gives you a stepping stone to develop on you own.
# Perk 2 - Money
Quite simply, second job means a second salary. With most freelancing paid by an hourly rate you are able to see the benefits and worth of your skill set in pound signs!
# Perk 3 - Expanding Your Skill set For Career Development
Not only will your CV look amazing and give you an edge over your competitors, but you will be able to gain more knowledge and have a better understanding of your chosen area.
# Perk 4 - Autonomy
Depending on how successful you are freelancing, your side project could become a career! Giving you the freedom to work when/wherever you want on projects you want to work on - ultimate control!
Let’s be proactive and make today the day we take that leap of faith! If anyone has any recommendations of sites for aspiring freelancers please post in the comments below.
www.wework.com / www.eventbrite.co.uk