There’s no doubt about it: working for yourself can be incredibly rewarding. We’ve talked at length about the benefits of going freelance in our blog. However, just like any career choice, consultancy can also present challenges along the way. Some everyday pressures are inevitable, but there are some tangible things you can do to support your mental health along the way.
If you’ve worked directly with clients for a while, you’re likely to have experienced late payments at some point in your journey. If this is the case, proactivity is key. Remember to send invoices as soon as work has been completed. Ensure that your payment terms are clearly set out in writing before you start working together – ideally as part of a contract. And it may seem awkward at first, but don’t be afraid to follow up with clients with email reminders once your invoices are overdue. If you don’t have a regular stream of income coming in for the hours you’ve worked, it could put your business in jeopardy over time.
When you start a new mission through Dweet, we handle all of the invoicing side of things for you. This means that you don’t have to worry about chasing clients for late payments, and can focus on doing the work that you enjoy the most.
When you’re working on projects you love, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of working long hours. It’s fine to pull out all the stops for a particular project, but making this the ‘new normal’ could have a marked impact on your productivity. The same goes for setting your availability boundaries with clients: it’s okay if you’re not “always on”. All you have to do is communicate your core hours and stick to them.
Find that time runs away with you and you’re forgetting to take breaks or switch off? There are so many apps out there to gently remind you to stick to your boundaries. Trust us, your mind will thank you for it!
Even if you love working from home and creating your own routine, studies show that social isolation can have an impact on both your mental and physical wellbeing. That’s why it’s so important to continue building your network and meet others who are on the same journey. Doing so will no doubt reduce your stress levels and arm you with stellar advice to help you rise to the challenges you’re facing.
The best thing about networking is that you can do it on your own terms. Try a membership site such as AllBright to get access to coworking spaces and training. Facebook Groups such as Freelance Heroes and DIFTK are full of people who truly get your day-to-day challenges. Or simply join our free Slack community and virtual events to meet other like-minded people in the fashion & luxury industries.
Whatever career path you choose, having something to look forward to is always a beautiful thing. Especially when you go through times where you’re feeling under pressure. At the start of the year, pencil in regular breaks and holidays to give yourself some headspace. Once you’ve blocked out that time, start scheduling incoming work around it. Let ongoing and retainer clients know that you’ll be out of office at that time, and plan well ahead to avoid any last-minute work surprises.
And most importantly, when you do go away, remember to leave your laptop at home. It’s all about giving yourself time to switch off and unwind.
At the end of the day, it’s important to regularly remind yourself why you chose to work independently in the first place. Were you looking for more flexibility? Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many projects – give yourself the space to be able to manage your time effectively. Looking to choose more challenging projects? Tailor your profile and business development to effectively reach out to your dream clients. Didn’t feel productive in your 9-5? Make sure you’re working the hours where you feel most creative, and give yourself space to recharge for the next day.
Dweet was born as a fashion & luxury community, and we’re constantly looking for ways to support you on your independent journey. From facilitating peer-to-peer networking and connecting you with client opportunities to managing Dweet project payments, it’s a great way to take your consultancy career to the next level. Interested? Click here to join us.
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