Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, everyone is gearing up to bring the final weeks to a close and prepare for the new year. For many, this includes vacations and paid time off. As a freelancer, your year-end to-dos may be a little different and can be just as rewarding.
Here are a few tips to help you celebrate your success as a creative freelancer during the holiday season.
Pick Up Extra Work
If you want to keep working during the holidays, you may still find work that needs doing. When full-time designers, developers, or other creative professionals are out of town, employers may need someone to pick up quick assignments that otherwise wouldn’t be turned around in time.
If you are ready, willing, and able to work during the holidays, make sure to let your important professional contacts know and update your social profile with your availability.
Additionally, this is a good opportunity to work on personal passion projects and expand your portfolio with new pieces.
Tend To Your Infrastructure
A successful freelancing career involves much more than client work. It requires managing and marketing, taking care of financial obligations, and making sure you have the infrastructure in place to get work, get paid, and stay connected.
The holiday slowdown provides an opportunity to take care of professional details that aren’t often a part of your usual assignments.
For freelancers, paying taxes and doing other paperwork is often a challenge; why not tackle it during the slow days?
You can also take online classes to learn new professional skills, to be more marketable during the new year.
Now that your clients are on a break, this is an ideal time to handle all obligations of running your own business. Organizing your paper files, managing digital declutter or achieving inbox zero can be great projects to get ready for 2018.
Prepare for Down Time
Even in our super-connected, always-on culture, the business world tends to slow down during the holiday season. Starting on the week of Thanksgiving and continuing through the first week of January, offices take on a different rhythm and often focus on staff and family celebrations.
It is always wise to have plenty of money socked away for such dry spells. Lots of personal finance and accounting programs will automatically save a certain amount each month, or you may be able to set up automatic savings through your bank.
With a buffer in your bank account, you can spend your holiday season relaxing, not fretting about money.
Take a Break
If you can find regular work and manage your career, freelancing can give you the freedom to travel, spend time with your loved ones, and set your own schedule. If you are able to and have handled all your obligations, why not take off for a week or two? Time to reflect and unplug is a great opportunity to recharge and get the creative juices flowing.
Set an “away” message, letting everyone know you are taking some much-needed R&R. You can go entirely off the grid or put your hours on “emergency mode,” in which you let it be known you are only available for very important matters.
Prepare for Next Year
If you haven’t had time to update your resume, website, or online portfolio, block off some time and make sure you are showcasing all your current work in a manner that does it justice.
The holiday season is an appropriate time to acknowledge the people who have supported your career.
Send a note to your clients, vendors, and colleagues, letting them know you’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with them and wish them the best in the new year. If you’re a designer, you can send a special holiday card, extending your gratitude and ensuring that clients will keep you in mind.
Here at Artisan, we are grateful for another rich and rewarding year of working with top creative talent and clients. We look forward to celebrating continued success in 2018 and developing new ways to support you and your work.