When you reach your 30s, it’s helpful to have some sort of idea where your career is heading. Being able to leave your mark on the world will contribute to your feelings of self-worth and purpose, and in this Hub post we’ll look at four ways to help you find success in your freelance career before reaching 30. (If you’re over 30, you’re still welcome to read too!)
1. Make a business plan
The first thing to consider when seeking career success will be to make a comprehensive business plan. There are a number of things that you should include in your business plan, and we made an extensive Hub post on how to make one a short while ago — it’d be worth your time to give it a read.
But in summary, your business plan should allow you to study the marketplace you’ll be entering, confirm the amount of money you’ll need to make to continue operating your business whilst retaining a profit, and give you some career goals to aim for.
2. Build a network of contacts
As a freelancer, you’ll find that a large percentage of your work will come through the people you know or have connected with in the past.
Social media and other online resources (such proz.com) are great places to build a network of contacts that you’ll come to depend on, and the best piece of advice to get started is to simply put yourself out there and actively engage in online discussions or approach certain people individually.
However, don’t neglect offline networking either, as relevant conferences and gatherings are an excellent place to make new contacts too. And for right or wrong, meeting ‘in-person’ does seem to carry more weight than simply chatting online.
3. Find a niche
One of the best ways to nurture your career is to specialize in an area that other people haven’t considered yet. By becoming an authority in a specific realm you’ll be able to charge higher prices due to lack of competition.
See what hobbies and interests you have, and whether your personal knowledge on a subject could be leveraged to enhance your freelance career. For example, if you enjoy rock climbing, why not see if there’re any upcoming conferences or events related to the sport that could use your translation services? Your experience in a sector will give you the authority to excel in providing freelance services (translation or otherwise) in it.
4. Sell yourself
More and more, customers prefer to connect with an individual rather than a service or an organization; they want to know who will be doing their work, what their values are and if they can have a personal relationship with them.
Independent freelance translators are in an excellent position to highlight their individuality and personal touch, and many expert freelancers advocate making you the front and center of your brand. You want your clients to hire you as a person, and your services and experience come in addition to that. Career Foundry has recently posted an excellent article on this matter, so be sure to check it out.
Are you older than 30 or younger? If you’re older, do you think you’ve found ‘success’ in your freelance career yet? What steps do you think are instrumental to having a successful career? If you’re younger than 30, do you think this article has helped inspire you to start preparing for a successful freelance career?