The traditional workforce is changing, with remote workers making up a growing percentage of employed adults. While the delicate balance between flexibility and predictability is still a challenge, more and more workers are ditching the security of the traditional office for the freedom of choosing their own projects. These workers are redefining success and driving a new gig-focused economy. What does it take to succeed in this new work environment? Read below to see 8 tools for success in the gig economy.
A Solid Digital Presence
A strong digital presence can help you to land new projects, and attract new clients. Create profiles on relevant professional networks and freelancing websites, and update them regularly. Depending on your field, you may also want to maintain a professional website or portfolio that outlines your top skills and showcases your best work. Use your web presence as a platform to share what sets you apart from others in your industry. Where possible, don’t forget to include client testimonials and recommendations.
A Regular Work Space
Remote workers may not need to commute to a traditional office space every day but they do need a regular space to work. Find a place that is free from outside distractions and pressures, and which inspires your creativity. It could be a home office nook, a specific room in your house, or a co-working space. Wherever it is, that space should be one that’s dedicated to working (complete with easy access to any tools of the trade) and accessed regularly.
A Passion for your Industry
If you’re passionate about your industry, it’s going to show. Your clients will inevitably pick up on your enthusiasm, and they’ll be blown away by your expertise. The more passionate you are about something, the more likely you are to take an active role in it. Participating in groups, networking events, conferences, and other relevant activities in your industry ensure that you’ll be up-to-date on the latest happenings, changes, or challenges.
A Resourceful Mindset
If there’s a way to do something more efficiently, find it. In the gig economy, the adage that “time is money” rings true. Therefore, how much time you spend working on projects and in other areas of your practice has a direct impact on your bottom line. Look for ways to use technology to your advantage to help make the most of your time. Things like automating processes where possible, using programs to schedule outreach, or apps to connect with virtual teammates can help you to work smart.
I know, you ditched the office to escape the monotony of the traditional workday. But there’s something about that sense of ritual that does help maximize performance. Use schedules and To-Do Lists to stay on track and monitor progress. Redefine the typical routine and create something that works for you on your terms.
A Social Network
Working remotely has plenty of advantages, but a packed social schedule isn’t one of them. It can be isolating to spend the majority of your day solo, but it’s nothing that a strong social network can’t fix. Make a point of spending time with friends and family, and seek out contacts in similar fields that you can connect with (in person preferably) on a regular basis. Co-working spaces, professional associations, and mastermind groups can also give you some tools to help push through any feelings of isolation.
A Thick Skin
At some point, you won’t get a response back from someone after submitting a proposal for work. You won’t get picked for a project that you think you’d be perfect for. Rejection happens. But how you react to it will ultimately determine your success in the gig economy. Be persistent, work through challenges, and maintain a positive outlook.
A Strong Reputation
To succeed in the gig economy, you need a good reputation amongst your clients – both past and present. Just because you’re not working in an office doesn’t mean you get to skip out on the professionalism. In fact, it’s probably even more important to consistently put your best foot forward when working remotely in order to build trust and show that you’re reliable. Always do your best work, submit projects on time, and finish every job you start.
Are you considering making the switch from office worker to freelancer, or are you currently part of the remote workforce? Share your story in the comments below.