Bringing Your “A” Game..
…when there’s no one in the stadium is disheartening. You spend your precious time and pour your professional qualifications into profile after profile and submit bids on jobs to be passed over again and again. It can make you want to shed your business casual attire and slip into something more comfortable like day drinking and Twitter feeds.
I know the feeling all too well. Way too well to be entirely comfortable writing about it at any given moment but I have something to tell you about that feeling.
Don’t give up.
Competition is hot right now, people with more real world in-office experience, better networks and formal educations have flooded the market. Some of my more reliable sources for gigs have shed all resistance to racing towards the bottom and collapsed into black holes of skilled work going at grind tier rates.
On a smaller scale, this very much reminds me of the Mommy Blogger Crisis and collapse of the blogosphere. I had my own apocalypses going on then, so when I emerged from the arena of personal tribulation stronger and more caffeinated than ever to see my tiny empire of personal knitting and crafting blogs ground into dust, I let my shattered dreams lay and focused on rebuilding my life. Sometimes, things can’t be fixed.
We will get through this.
If you’re reading this, that means that you have managed to survive everything that this world has thrown at you so far. That fact alone should be enough to impress upon you how tough and resilient you have already been. You may have to change directions, but it’s not like you’re starting the journey from scratch; you already have the skills you need.
You have your valuable experience, your expertise, your charm and your disarming good looks.
Be patient and proactive.
It’s not unusual for beginning freelancers to spend an entire work week doing unpaid work for themselves, seeking and cementing paid work. It’s less common now but it happens from time to time.
The key is to keep working, even when you don’t have work. Create samples. Polish your professional profiles. Review your resume. Submit bids. Systematically highlight your strengths and address your weaknesses. Reach out to your peers and network. Research. Build a database.
I was inspired to write this post because I’m going through the very same thing. Or I was, when I started writing, then mid-post I was contacted and we agreed to do an interview. I believe it went swimmingly and I may have landed an extended gig. I’ll hear the final decision tomorrow morning.
Wish me luck.
And let me know what you do when business slows down.