Twenty Three.

How to feel like you’re moving up, instead of just along.

This week Frankie Tortora and Steve Folland have a chat in response to a question from copywriter Maia Swift. She says:

“I’ve been freelance for nearly four years now, and, although I have good months and rubbish months, on the whole it’s going well. In fact, to anyone just starting out as a freelancer, it would probably look like I’m making a success of it – I work on interesting projects, my day rate is reasonably high and I rarely have to hunt for new leads.

But, in spite of all that, I still rarely feel like I’m ‘successful’. Before having babies I had a LA-DI-DA job title at a well-respected agency, and I guess part of me feels like I gave up on my career and any ‘career progression’ when I left. I used to have objectives, and win pitches and manage freelancers etc etc, so now I’m not sure how to make myself feel like I’m doing well.

It doesn’t help that a lot of what I do is basically invisible – I don’t have a product to sell, or a work Instagram feed, or any of those things that might help create a sense of achievement.

Should I set objectives for myself? Or perhaps get a mentor? Do I need to be stricter about only taking on projects that feel more challenging than ones I’ve done before? Maybe I should post on LinkedIn about projects I’m working on? (CRINGE) Or should I redo my website and make a big song and dance about it? Is there any other way to feel like you’re moving up, instead of just along???

I’m also aware that my lack of confidence when it comes to talking about being freelance doesn’t help. A lot of my friends who have ‘proper’ jobs shout about their promotions and business trips and awards (blah blah blah), while I struggle to talk confidently about what I’m working on. Perhaps if I changed how I described my work, it would make me realise it’s going well at the same time as showing other people what I’ve achieved?

Thank you very much for a great podcast and group, it’s such a joy to know there are other people out there who understand. Maia”

Take note dear listener! We might swear a bit. This one’s for the parents. To be enjoyed at your desk or once the kiddos are in bed.

What would your advice be?

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