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Freelance Your Way Around the World in 2016

Freelance Your Way Around the World in 2016

Freelancers used to get considerable flak about their career choices. If you have freelanced for any length of time, you might have received looks of disdain when you announced your job title in public.

That’s just not the case anymore. As 2016 draws nearer, the future looks brighter for freelancers than in any previous year. Looking forward to changes, trends, and tips for freelancing in 2016 will help you prepare for its arrival.

Freelancing: The New Norm

If you’re a freelancer, you’re in good company. You’re one of 53 million Americans who earn a living with freelance work, which represents nearly 40 percent of the labor force. Experts predict that the number will reach 50 percent by 2020.

As more professionals turn to freelancing for income, the industry becomes more accepting. The public sees freelancers as capable, qualified experts who run their own businesses.

In 2016, that trend will continue toward public acceptance. This means that an increasing number of businesses will turn to freelancers for their services. Expect to see more jobs enter the marketplace and to see pay rates increase accordingly.

Of course, this means that full-time employment options might shrink. As employers embrace freelancers as part of their creative teams, they will hire fewer employees. Now represents a perfect time to make the switch from regular employment to freelancing.

True Freedom: Location Independence

The idea of quitting your job to travel the world is an alluring one and making money by blogging even more so. A quick Google search will reveal countless travel bloggers who have successfully turned their blogs into profitable enterprises. There are plenty of posts about how to start a successful travel blog. The fact is that unless you are very determined and focused or have a very specific niche, building a successful and profitable travel blog is a difficult endeavor. But travel blogging isn’t necessarily the only route to travel freedom. There are other options.

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As Internet connectivity improves, people are embracing the idea of a location independent lifestyle where they can work while they travel. One of the best ways to achieve this independence is through freelance work. Micro-gigging allows you to find work from wherever you are. This means that if you’ve built a reputation and have consistent work coming in, what does it matter if you’re in Buffalo or Budapest? As long as you have access to the Internet, you can make money while traveling.

Attraction: More Freelancers Will Enter the Marketplace

As more jobs become available, an increasing number of professionals will leave their nine-to-five positions in favor of freelancing and consulting work. This means greater competition, but if you continue to hone your skills and market yourself effectively, you’ll never lack work.

In the past, freelancers often hung out their shingles because they had no other choice. Lay-offs, labor reductions, and terminations from full-time positions forced them to work odd jobs until they could find gainful employment again.

However, the tides have changed. According to Kristen Fischer of Contently, a recent Freelancers Union survey revealed that 60 percent of freelancers choose this career by choice (versus out of necessity).

Why do full-time workers switch to freelancing? The survey discovered that 65 percent of respondents named flexibility as the key draw. Freelancing allows professionals to set their own schedules, accept or decline projects at will, and structure their days however they wish.

Other benefits of freelancing include:

  • Location: Work anywhere in the world, whether it’s a coffee shop down the street or a beach on the other side of the planet.
  • Potential: Freelancing doesn’t limit you to a pay grade. If you want to earn more money, raise your rates or solicit more work.
  • Security: You can lose a client or an account as a freelancer, but you can’t lose your job.
  • Passion: Pursue your creativity and interests with freelancing instead of following someone else’s orders.
  • Freedom: Do you hate working for a particular client? You don’t have to renew the contract. Cut the cord whenever you want.

Every freelancer harbors his or her own reasons for pursuing this career. Maybe you nurse a chronic case of wanderlust, so you don’t want to tie yourself down to a job that requires you to report to a physical place every day. Perhaps you don’t respond well to authority, so you sought a job that would eliminate the dreaded boss.

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Work Ethic: Freelancers Work Harder Than Anyone

As a freelancer, you run your own business. Not only must you perform your job description for each project you take on, but you have to serve as the accounting, marketing, advertising, and human resources department of your business.

Even if you only spend five hours on an actual project every day, you might work double that on other issues that require your attention. Freelancers represent some of the hardest members of the global labor pool.

Every job requires an exchange—a compromise of sorts. You get all of the benefits described above, but you have to hustle if you hope to succeed as a freelancer in 2016. This is especially true with the influx of competition expected over the next few years.

Another reason that freelancers work harder than anyone is because they need to hustle to ensure to secure recurring customers and referrals. Companies that outsource creative projects now know this and will continue using freelancers because they know they will get a great return on their investment.

Emotion: Freelancers Must Inject a Human Element Into Every Project

Forbes reports that automation and algorithmic technology will threaten freelancer jobs in the coming months and years, particularly when it comes to content. However, while a machine can create a technically perfect article or other deliverable, it can’t replicate a human.

Freelancers who want to succeed in 2016 will need to demonstrate their ability to understand human emotion. If your work can inspire, move, or engage other people, you’ll prove yourself very valuable to companies looking to outsource creative work. This means that 2016 will require freelancers to tell compelling stories that inspire consumers to act.

Whether you’re designing a logo, writing a product description, coding a website, or providing the narration for a commercial, you must hit strong emotional notes. Prove you’re more valuable than a machine and you’ll succeed as a freelancer in 2016.

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Diversity: Freelancers Will See More Options in the Marketplace

From micro-gigs to year-long projects, freelancers will begin to see great diversity in their project options in 2016. Professionals who value consistency can seek out clients who need work on an ongoing basis. Meanwhile, freelancers who like flexibility can pursue smaller jobs that take less time to complete.

Additionally, some freelancers will set themselves apart by offering multiple services. In other words, the most valuable workers will present themselves as Jacks and Jills of all trades. Just like the neighborhood handyman, he or she will offer full-scale services.

This doesn’t mean clients should expect a drop in quality. To the contrary, clients will become more demanding of freelancers because they expect high-quality deliverables for the prices they pay.

Options: Numerous Marketplaces Offer Freelancers a Place to Find Work

Freelancing, at its core, is a highly dynamic profession. Experts in this industry must adapt based on what their clients and the market itself expects. Those who embrace these fluctuations will see the greatest amount of success in 2016 and beyond.

Other places to find freelance work include:

2016 will see even more options for freelancers who need jobs. These marketplaces will shift and change to meet the market demands.The best freelance market depends on your skills. For instance, a dedicated site like VoiceBunny might prove most expedient for voice over artists looking for work. Conversely, if you specialize in WordPress development, a site like WPHired might offer the best results. Freelancers of all types can seek a wide variety of jobs at sites like Guru, ElanceUpwork, and Bunny Inc.

Know Your Worth: Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Different

One common struggle that freelancers have to deal with is sticking to their guns when it comes to value. Many companies out there want to save money, and that is why they outsource creative work. Hiring a full-time in-house writer or designer can come with a hefty cost to the company. Sporadically outsourcing projects is a great way to cut back on overhead costs.

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Sometimes, though, companies might try and take advantage of freelancers. There is a bill being introduced in New York City to protect freelancers. The bill will require companies hiring freelancers to put all contracts in writing. Companies that take too long to pay or try not to pay at all will be fined and charged with criminal penalties, making it so freelancers are more protected.

The passing of this bill would be a huge step forward for freelancers, giving them the credit and rights they deserve. It will also make the relationship between freelancers and employers stronger, legitimizing a relationship that at times was not taken very seriously. If passed, the chances of legislation like this spreading beyond New York City will increase dramatically.

Succeeding as a Freelancer

Knowing what to expect from the freelance market in 2016 will help you succeed as a freelancer. Adapting to changes, over-delivering on projects, and positioning yourself as an indispensable resource to clients will lift you above the competition and allow you to generate more income.

And the best thing about working as a freelancer in 2016 and beyond?

You can do it from anywhere in the world.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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