Yes, You can Do It.
Our worlds are all upside down now. My home office is now in the middle of my dining room, my desk flanked by two disgruntled home learners with their mom stuck in the middle. Unlike some LinkedIn posters wondering what day it is, I’m very well tuned into to the fact that today is Thursday, April 16, thanks to school’s chirping reminders to log daily attendance. I have home-made schedules taped to my dining room walls to keep us all moving forward, all moving in some semblance of direction. When I step away and look at my make-shift desk/home office/home schooling set up it appears that I have my act together. As my kids transition through their day from math, to writing, to science I sit quietly, trapped in my own career molasses. What I felt I had all together — bustling clients, a hectic schedule — just a few short weeks ago is a tumbleweed of yesterday’s stability, blowing past the window.
Like so many, you may find yourself out there wondering what the hell is next. For some, it’s freelancing or “consulting” either now or in the future. For years as an agency recruiter I would counsel candidates who were in a job transition to “just do some consulting” to fill the gaps. How hard could it be? Offer up your services and get out there! I had no idea what it actually meant to consult until I left my job to go it alone. I quickly navigated freelance recruiting despite stepping into ego landmines and head-pounding software quagmires to learn that my my cavalier advice was very short-sighted.
The Major Blindspot
Landing a client is one hurdle–learning all their systems along with names, titles, and personalties is another. And once you have it all down, the contract ends and you’re off to find the next gig. It seems at times insurmountable but I’m here to tell you that yes, you can figure this out–if you can master the biggest hurdle of all: believing you can do it.
One of the biggest challenges of going it alone is that there isn’t anyone around to tell you that what you’re doing is right. Being part of a team gives you access (whether you appreciate it or not) to a stream of constant feedback. Peers, colleagues, and certainly bosses can be quick reminders when you start veering off track. Going it alone is you, yourself, making decisions based upon your years of experience and expertise.
You need to own and trust your expertise. Trust in your knowledge to guide you through the uncertainties of a market that no one can predict. Remind yourself–either through laptop post-its or meditative mantras that you got yourself to this point and you will continue to get yourself forward.
You have the skills and expertise to handle this–work will open up, assignments will come–trust in your ability to the expert in the room. Because truly if not you, then who?
I’m available to connect and talk shop. Reach out anytime to connect and let me know how your freelancing and consulting is going–I’d love to help!