Being a freelancer can be liberating and refreshing, especially if you’ve spent years in your professional career being stuck inside a cubicle or office. Besides having a lot more control on your daily schedule, you are also able to enjoy a handful of perks exclusive to freelancing, such as not having to deal with the daily commute and being able to work in the comfort of your own home.
That being said, it can be tough to be a freelancer. First of all, you need to be especially industrious when it comes to finding freelance projects, as you will have a lot of competition for them, and these projects won’t just land on your lap while you wait. Second, and just as important, you may have certain negative qualities that are detrimental to your career and that you need to get rid of immediately. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to achieve the professional and financial success you’ve been hoping for in freelancing.
To help you in this regard, here are the top five negative qualities that could hurt your career as a freelancer.
You constantly find something to complain about
If you recently switched careers to be a freelancer, then chances are, you had a lot to complain about being a salaried worker. This is normal, as no doubt you wouldn’t have considered freelancing if you didn’t have any complaints about salaried employee life. However, if you also find yourself having a lot to complain about as a freelancer, even with all the new perks available to you, then you’ll probably always be dissatisfied no matter how your situation improves.
Try to wean yourself off this attitude, as your constant whining and complaining will bleed into the quality of your work. You may also let something slip in social media or in real life, which can easily cost you your client if you’re not too careful.
You find it difficult to get excited about work
It’s understandable to not be predisposed to liking work. However, if you don’t change your attitude and begin to see work as a daily challenge rather than a tedious chore, you will find it slowly beginning to affect the quality of your performance. Your lack of enthusiasm will also be noted by your client, especially if you constantly have face-to-face meetings or video calls. This could negatively color your professional relationship and sabotage your chances of having evergreen or loyal clients.
You over promise and under-deliver a lot
Being confident about your abilities is always a good trait, and it can serve you well in impressing your clients if you manage to constantly deliver. However, if you continuously over promise while also always falling short of those promises, then you’ll be seen as someone who’s more than okay in disappointing their clients or just doing the bare minimum work needed. Never over promise, however tempting it is. Instead, be as honest and as transparent as possible. If you can’t do something your client wants, tell them upfront. They will appreciate your candor more than dealing with constant disappointment.
You get easily distracted
Being a freelancer, you can freely enjoy the pleasures of working from home. However, this also exposes you to many distractions, from your friends and family to non-work related social media browsing and posting. Constantly indulging yourself in these distractions will result in your productivity being drastically affected. This will prove to be a detriment in keeping to your deadlines.
Do your best to put yourself in a place free from any distractions, and focus on the task at hand. Something you can do to help yourself in this regard is to place your smartphone away from your home office, as well as switching off your desktop notifications for anything that’s not related to your work.
You’re not proactive
Do you try and go beyond every assignment you get from your client, or do you simply do what the client asks and nothing more? If you said yes to the latter, then you may have a problem with being proactive. While there’s nothing wrong with doing only the work that’s expected of you, being proactive with your work, especially when you know that it can add value to the end product, can make you stand out in a hugely positive way. This will increase the chances of your client coming back to you regularly for more work.
Remove these negative qualities and improve your freelancing prowess
Freelancing can be challenging, especially if you’ve only just started. However, you can help increase your chances of achieving freelancing success and prosperity by checking to see if you have the negative qualities listed above and doing your best to address them. By doing so, you slowly make yourself a better freelancer and a better worker overall.