All types of perks come with freelancing, including the opportunity to identify your career passion and live it on a day-to-day basis. In other words, you choose the projects you want to work on, which gives you more control of the work you do and, ultimately, makes you happier.
It’s a chain reaction: When you complete work according to what maximizes your happiness, you become more motivated. When you become more motivated, you expeditiously improve upon your skills and do better work. When you do better work, you can confidently raise your rates and attract higher-paying clients. When you raise your rates and attract higher-paying clients, you can either work less and maintain your income or work more and earn more.
Unfortunately, many people — not just freelancers — never realize their career passion, settling instead for a less-than-stellar job that unenthusiastically allows them to pay the bills. It’s the difference between surviving and living.
By choosing the freelancer route, we give ourselves the opportunity to take some power back and enjoy what we do. Opting to strike out on our own is the catalyst of identifying your career passion and living it on a daily basis.
1. Consider Your True Passions
To take full advantage of freelancing, start by identifying your passions — the things that produce compelling desire and enthusiasm. If you’re unsure about your passions, contemplate the answers to the following questions:
- What do you enjoy?
- What do you care about?
- What makes you tick?
- What brings you joy and gets you excited?
- What do you think about after you wake up and before you go to sleep?
2. Combine Your Passions and Skill Set
Once you identify your passions, combine them with your existing (or developing) set of skills. For instance, my friend David is a sports fanatic. He’s also a graphic designer, so David created a freelance business in which he provides professional and collegiate sports organizations with graphics for their online and offline marketing materials. Slam dunk.
There’s also my friend Daniela, a vegan. Her veganism means she doesn’t eat or use any animal products or products tested on animals. Veganism is not just a diet; it’s her full-fledged lifestyle. Daniela’s freelanced as a digital marketer for some time now, but she recently started to feel a lack of purpose in her work. She decided to couple her digital marketing expertise with her vegan lifestyle to serve vegan-friendly businesses and organizations.
Now, she not only lives the vegan lifestyle — she also promotes it by helping her clients create and share social media content, in which she portrays their products and services within the broader context of this lifestyle (and she gets paid a pretty penny, as well). That’s what you call having your vegan cake and eating it, too.
3. Find Purpose in Your Work
David and Daniela are two examples of how freelancers leverage their passions to find purpose in their work. What makes them successful goes beyond just their talents, skills and abilities within their respective profession. The fact that they virtually live and breathe the lifestyles of their clients’ products and services plays a solid hand in how their passion comes into play in their work.
As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t any reason you can’t do the same.