Five Tips to Make Networking Work For You

I can’t be an introvert all the time, and when it comes to doing my job, I’m surprisingly sociable. This is important because talking to people is how you build the relationships that help your scope of knowledge grow. And yes, your network can help you with your career, too.

One reason networking gets a bad rap (and I was very anti-networking well into my 20s) is that it can feel artificial or unearned: “Oh, you got that job because you know Mr. So-and-So.” Well, yeah, maybe, but it’s not (entirely) like that.

How I go about networking

You’re under no obligation to do things this way, but perhaps it will help you to think better and differently about making networking work for you.

My primary motivation for building a network is to obtain the knowledge I need to do my job, which is to write products for my customer. That means politely asking around to find out who knows what. Sometimes that person is a front-line employee, sometimes the only person with the information is in the corner office of the administration floor and I have to make an appointment for five minutes of their time. A key to functioning, especially in a large organization or industry is not to know everything–though that can happen over time–but to know who does know everything about a particular topic.

Speaking of politeness, regardless of the situation, I make sure to introduce myself in a pleasant manner, explain what I need to know and why, obtain and clarify the answer, and then thank the person providing me the information. If they call or email me, I make sure I respond in a timely manner. I don’t just do this when I want something, but every time. These moments of politeness matter because I expect to work with these individuals again. Pleasantness and follow-through have helped me through occasional situations where I “drop the ball.” Other people are more likely to be forgiving if they believe I’ll recover a situation diligently.

Helping others make connections is another important part of my networking process. It’s not just a matter of reaching out to people who have information I need, but sometimes putting those people in touch with each other. Say I know someone who’s really smart about “citizen science.” I remember that information when I meet someone else who’s looking for volunteers to help collect data for a science or engineering project. I don’t go out in search of citizen science projects, necessarily, but what I will do is introduce person A to person B if I think that person B knows something that person A needs: “Oh, you need volunteer data collectors? You should talk with Darlene.” Et cetera.

If there’s a recurring theme to my networking, it’s this: I work with my network to solve problems. I try to learn who knows what and what their interests are so I can call upon those abilities and interests when the time comes. (I can hear a little voice in my head protesting, “You’re just using people!” To which I would politely respond, “I suppose so, but in a work situation, others are welcome to ‘use’ my knowledge and abilities, too.”) Going back to the politeness and follow-up thing, if you’re diligent about those practices, you find that people are more willing to work with you when you ask for help or a favor.

Notice that up to now I haven’t said one thing about using connections to get a job. That comes later, after I’ve demonstrated diligence, politeness, connecting network members to each other, and mutual problem solving.

Personally, I don’t enjoy asking for money or a job on my own behalf. However, I am not shy about asking for work. People aren’t stupid–they know if you’re looking for work it’s because you need the pay–but it’s sometimes more socially acceptable to ask for and focus on the work. I am passionate about the space business, which is where I earn the bulk of my income. If I start talking about the work, I’ll immediately start diving into the details of what’s involved: do you need a report? Who’s the audience? What’s your preferred outcome? How long do you expect it to be? Do you have a graphic designer? These questions help demonstrate that I know what I’m doing and that I’m interested in solving the individual’s problem. Sometimes a person I’m talking to is looking for a skill that, quite frankly, I don’t have. In that case, I refer them to a peer or company that I know has those skills. Again–the network helps. If they want to hire me, the money discussion can come after that.

Really, networking can be done on autopilot if you don’t think of it as work or a chore. You might even have been doing this type of networking without knowing it. Instead, it’s a matter of being nice to people and being a good worker. That way, in the event someone you know really can help you find work, your reputation will speak for itself.

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Car Repairs and the Design of Documents

I’m sitting in the waiting room of the local Honda dealership, waiting a few patient hours for the mechanics to fix the alignment on my Accord and replace all four tires. I’m about to launch into a complaint about my current car, so before I do that, I want to explain to the American Honda Motor Co. that I loved my 2000 Accord. Operationally, economically, and ergonomically, it was the best car I ever owned. In fact, if someone hadn’t pulled out in front of me against the light, killing off that car, I’d still be driving it. However, reality set in, and I was told that the car was a complete loss, thus requiring me to get a new car.

Given my satisfaction with the 2000 Accord, I went for another recent-model Accord, same color, a few extra features, muy bien.

However, as I came to learn, all was not muy bien. The ergonomics of the 2009 Accord are not as good as the 2000 model by a long shot. The problem? My lines of sight in for the front, sides, and back of the car are awful. These issues are important when you’re pulling into a tight parking place or backing up. The backing-up part I learned first. The ’09 Accord has a ramp (for lack of a better word) in the back window that slopes upward and prevents me from seeing the rear of the car. Result? I backed into a post. A month later, again unable to judge the view out the back, I backed into someone else’s car. Hello, higher insurance bill. Okay, so I need to be better about using my side mirrors when backing up. But, again, the design of the rear window makes it difficult to see.

The other line-of-sight issue with the ’09 Accord is up front. I have the driver’s seat raised as high as I can, and I still cannot see or judge the sides of the car. This makes it difficult to turn into parking spaces and to ensure that I’m staying in my lane. The left side isn’t much better, as the curve of the hood makes it difficult to see where the line on the pavement is compared to the side of the car. Result? Multiple bumps and scrapes, especially on the right side of the car, and even when I’m traveling slowly, I occasionally bump into the curb on a turn. Do that enough times, and your axle starts to take it personally. So yes, I got a C in driver’s education, but I also never had these problems with the 2000 Accord because I could see the edges of the car at all times and accurately judge the distance between the car and a nearby object. I might’ve gotten one alignment job, not three, because I wasn’t constantly bumping into curbs or scraping up against poles and walls (the estimates today, should I choose to accept them: $700 for the front bumper, $1200 for the back-right quarter panel).

What does this extended gripe about the design of my current car have to do with technical writing? It comes down to one word: usability. This can apply to a paper document, a help menu, or a website. The electronic version of my unfortunate Honda experience has to be Microsoft Word, which I’ve been using since it was first released. It’s the ocean in which I swim. However, every few years, the programmers get bored and decide to redesign and “improve” things. However, I’m convinced that Microsoft beta-tests their improvements with students who are fresh-out of college. Why? A new user doesn’t have nearly the same headaches trying to do things that a long-time user has because I’m used to the way I’ve been doing it for 20 years! Okay, so I’m getting old, fine. But I don’t think I’m off base when I say that designers and technical writers share some blame if they don’t make a design easy, familiar, and “intuitive” to use–not just for new users, but for people who have been using the product for X years.

There are ways to make new versions of an existing product better. For instance, if content has been rearranged, it might be better to use larger fonts or extra callout boxes to help users better “navigate” a page. If a particular piece of content has been moved from one section to another, make a note of it. New users won’t care, but long-time users will appreciate the navigation tip. If you’re going to make the visuals slick, sleek, and groovy, don’t make them all that to the point where you can’t read the font. And if you’re going to make a car bigger, be cognizant of the fact that people still want to be able to drive safely and have a good view of the road.

Regardless of what you’re designing, it’s important to get user feedback and to always have the end user in mind. You’ll save them time and–whether they’re driving a car or trying to get an assignment done on schedule–save them money.

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Freelancing Advice Podcast

Just did this 10-minute interview with Ryan Weber, head of the University of Alabama-Huntsville English department, where I taught business writing for a semester. I hope you find the advice interesting and worthwhile. It’s mostly about the basics of freelance technical writing.

http://podcastmachine.com/podcasts/17390

P.S. I haven’t heard my own voice recorded in a while (as an introvert, I don’t like it), so I apologize for what sounds like a lisp to me. I was talking on a headset for the first time, and it’s possible I was speaking too close to the microphone. That said, the words more or less make sense.

P.P.S. Re: loyalty and the aerospace business

Lest I come across as an ungrateful cur in some of my comments, I would like to point out that this was my father’s interpretation of my situation. His definition of loyalty and mine differ a bit. I’m still friends with darn near everyone I’ve met in the industry, but in the end I wasn’t able to land a steady job during my time of employment uncertainty.

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Vertical, Horizontal, and Matrixed Organizations (And Why You Should Care)

First, a few definitions so you understand what I’m talking about.

Vertical Organizations

A “vertical” company is known for having a large staff of middle managers between the CEO and the front line. In a vertical company—which was most the most common business model in organizations for the much of the mid- to late-20th century—lines of authority branch outward from the top down like a tree’s roots. Individual vice-presidents direct the activities of the staff below them according to specific lines of business. Vertical organizations arose in the 1930s and 1940s in order to combat the tendency toward cronyism and nepotism in privately held businesses.

Advantages

The advantages of vertical structures are that they have defined chains of command and areas of responsibility; employees advance through ability and performance on familiar, known tasks; and the career path of someone looking to advance “through the ranks” is clearly understood. Also, the longer one stays in a vertical organization the more in-depth knowledge and expertise they gain over the course of time.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of vertical structures are that they take longer to make decisions and information does not always filter upward to management or down to front-line personnel. The major problem with vertical organizations is that bureaucracy can become rampant as individual lines of business become isolated from each other, develop separate cultures and procedures, and sometimes seek to justify unprofitable lines of business. Or, one level of an organization can be in contact with another, but the “levels” above or below that contact are unaware of those conversations, resulting in lost communications or duplication of effort if someone else at a different level tries to initiate the same level communication. A final challenge with a vertical organization is that communications with other departments can sometimes be actively discouraged or seen as disloyalty below a “certain level”–the idea being all the information you should need to know to do your job is within your “stovepipe.”

A “vertical” organization chart might look something like this:

Vertical Organization

Horizontal Organizations

In response to the observed and perceived weaknesses of the vertical company, “horizontal” companies started popping up more often–especially in the Dot-com companies of the 1990s, where companies were too small to afford a large “vertical” organization. Horizontally oriented companies have relatively few layers of management between the CEO and front-line personnel. It is thought that with fewer individuals in the chain of command, decisions can be made more quickly. As a result of this new management thinking, middle managers in “vertical” organizations saw more layoffs. Much of this thinking was born out of our nation’s space program (see The Secret of Apollo if you’re really gung-ho to learn about systems management.)

Advantages

The goals of horizontal organizations are to speed up decision making; to allow for more management flexibility and cross-training as individuals work more closely with other areas; to eliminate bureaucracy because more people are talking to each other across vertical lines of business; and to increase a company’s flexibility when it comes to creating new products or reacting to new market conditions.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of horizontal organization include workforce reductions that create a loss of experienced managers, who often make up the “institutional memory” of a company; the breaking up of specialized lines of business, thus reducing the company’s ability to innovate; and uncertain career paths for aspiring managers. There can also be a perception that an individual who works in a small, flat organization lacks necessary expertise in his or her particular specialty to truly excel because effort is diluted–the operative  example being a “jack of all trades, master of none.”

A “horizontal” organization chart looks something like this:

Horizontal OrganizationMatrixed Organizations

Morpheus-Red-or-Blue-Pill-the-matrix-1957140-500-568Ideally, matrixed organizations attempt to integrate and use the best of both horizontal and vertical structures. The idea is this: a (typically large) company keeps its specific lines of business expertise intact—finance, marketing, engineering, etc.—but brings together specialists from each vertical organization to work on temporary projects that develop new products, services, or even lines of business. A person working in such a structure would thus have vertical lines of accountability to the immediate line-of-business superiors and horizontal accountability to one’s project teammates.

Advantages

As stated above, matrix organizations would keep their vertical lines of business intact to maintain their core competencies while also farming out individuals within those specialties to develop new products and services. The other advantage that this type of organization has is that it has more regular and formal contact across disciplines.

Disadvantages

The primary challenges for individuals working in matrix organizations are accountability, authority, and perceived “loyalty.” If a manager is a project team lead or member, she or he must constantly balance which work takes precedence: project work or daily line-of-business work? Next, matrix structures can also impact employee loyalty: if individuals are more interested in doing project work than in doing the specialty work for which they were hired, they might be perceived as “disloyal” by their vertical line-of-business superior. Also, a line-of-business manager might not see their subordinate’s work if he or she is heavily involved in project work. There can be a corporate problem of being “out of sight, out of mind,” where a project worker misses opportunities for promotion within her/his vertical organization because of a focus on the project. If cooperation does not occur both horizontally and vertically, the company can easily be overrun by politics, as people break into fragmented camps: “Are you a ‘project’ person or are you an ‘institutional’ person?”

A “matrixed” organization chart looks something like this, with both horizontal and vertical accountability:

Matrixed OrganizationWhy All This Should Matter to You

Opportunities

Since 2000, many large organizations have taken on the matrix form of organization. One primary reason is networking: because computers allow us to be connected in more ways than ever before, individual workers expect their companies to behave the same way. More importantly, customers expect that.

Large organizations like Disney spent much of the last 20 years on Customer Relationship Management (though I forget what they call it internally now). CRM is the process of developing information streams that allow multiple parts of an organization to access customer information and use it to better meet the customer’s and the organization’s needs. One example of this CRM-type integration is the Disney Magic Band, which is actually a rather complex piece of hardware (and software). It allows guests to wear one tool on their wrist that serves as their theme park admission, hotel room key, and credit card for making merchandise and food purchases on their hotel account while staying at the resort. On the spooky side, once you’ve stayed at the hotel and visited the parks and made all those purchases, the next marketing letter or email you get from Disney is likely to work like Amazon.com and recommend similar purchases the next time you visit.

None of that could have happened without a matrixed organization to support it.

And of course along the way they needed technical communicators working alongside the Information Technology people and all the other related organizations (Marketing, Attractions, Resorts) to ensure that all their needs were met. I shudder to think of what the requirements document looked like for Magic Band, but I’ve seen it in action, and it does indeed work as advertised. What these tools mean for technical communicators is plenty of opportunity to work in cross-functional projects, which can last weeks, months, or years.

Another reason cross-functional teams are better (and more fun, in my opinion) to work for is that you’re interacting with more customers, more lines of business, and so are learning a lot more about how the whole organization works, which makes your knowledge much more valuable when you’re looking for the next job.

Lastly, project work helps you build your personal network within an organization much better than if you just stayed within one organization. You might know Finance inside and out, for example, but you might have no idea who works in Marketing, how Marketing does its business or how it affects what you do there. If only out of self-defense, I think project work would be beneficial to someone learning to be valuable to an organization, but I’ve been known to be wrong about such things.

Challenges

I’m not going to kid you: matrixed organizations have their challenges. For me, the biggest challenge was the number of meetings I had to attend. As a member of a “vertical” organization (say, the Communications department), you’re beholden to that organization’s schedule, standards, and meetings and are expected to comply with all three while in the project. Just because you’re “off on project work” doesn’t mean that your line-of-business boss doesn’t want to see you. S/he does, which means that your meeting schedule effectively doubles.

Loyalty and Conflicts of Management Interest

The “loyalty” question is always a puzzler to me, because to me accountability is pretty straightforward: I’m supposed to provide a good service as a communicator (representing the line-of-business organization) to a project team, regardless of who they are. My boss is in the communications department; my customer is in the project office.

In reality, “Loyalty” doesn’t become an issue until your line-of-business manager wants you to support something besides the project you’re working on at the moment while the project manager needs you for project work. In such situations, the best thing to do is bring the matter into the open, contact both managers, and let them sort it out between themselves. If necessary, higher managers get involved, and then someone comes back to you and wants to know how you can serve both masters anyway in a way that makes everyone happy. It’s a challenge, but to me the best way to demonstrate “loyalty” to the organization is not to show favorites–just let the chain of command sort it out once they realize the conflict.

If you’re a project manager in a matrixed organization, you might face the challenge of authority. That is, you might be a “Project Manager” on your project, but one of your attached line-of-business team members might be a subject matter expert who outranks you in the vertical chain of command (this is especially problematic in military or civilian government agencies, where “rank” is taken seriously). It’s usually good, when setting up a project charter, to lay out clear lines of authority, with a clear understanding that the line-of-business higher-ups will back up with words and deeds. For example, of the higher-ranking subject matter expert decides to do a line-of-business task rather than focus on his project work, the Project Manager needs to have the authority to keep him in line…or take it to his superiors if he refuses to cooperate. Not saying it always happens, just that it can.

Final Thoughts

As I’ve already noted, I preferred project work in a corporate setting. That suited my somewhat broad (someone once called them flighty) interests. If you’re a steady person who likes to become an expert on one topic and appreciates traditions and always understanding how and why things are done a particular way, there is always necessary work to be had in “vertical” or institutional organizations. Bills always need to get paid, operations always have to run smoothly, and products always need to come out working properly.  Within those ongoing processes, there is always a need for technical communicators to maintain the institutional memory of How Things Should Be Done and what it means when someone says a task must be done “the company way.” Regardless of your preferred type of work, it’s good to know what types are available and what structures exist to support them.

The point of this little essay is to help you understand a little bit more about how corporate entities are structured, how they can affect your work, and how you can best serve them. As always, the answer to the last item is, “Do good work, and someone will want to hire you.”

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Why Do You Need a Marketing Plan?

A while back, I wrote a blog on creating a strategic business plan as a way for the freelancer to help him/herself go forth and get established as a going concern. However, in the last month or so it’s become clear to me that I needed a marketing plan. There are several of them out there, and quite frankly I just looked up “marketing plan template” in my search engine. The model I chose came from Forbes (it’s here if you want to use it yourself).

Here are the primary differences between a business plan and a marketing plan:

  • A business plan is for helping you identify what your business does, who your customers are, and how you fit within the marketplace.
  • A marketing plan is for helping you identify how you’ll make your business known in the marketplace so that your self-selected customers can find you.

Creating a marketing plan is a great exercise for helping you identify the specific, concrete steps you need to take to advance the marketing activities you need to do to get your message “out there.”

However, using the Forbes model as a example, a marketing plan has seemed insufficient. Somewhere in your business plan and marketing plan, you need to know what you’re going to say about your services when reaching out to your customers. In the Forbes marketing plan, Section 3 is titled Unique Selling Proposition. That’s as good a place as any to answer some of the following questions:

  • What are your unique value propositions?
  • Why should customers in your specific market want to hire you?
  • How do you talk about your products/services?
  • What language will you use in your various marketing outlets (web, business cards, brochures) to fascinate your audience?

The trick is to avoid a ready-fire-aim methodology where you start developing marketing materials, elevator pitches, and contact lists without first asking, “Wait, what do I plan to say?” you’d be surprised how often it happens. Take the time to know your answers.

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Self-Portrait of an “Anchor”

Following my reading of How the World Sees You, I found the opportunity to get a little free professional coaching. Both the book and my coaching activities have focused on how best to “market myself.” This can be a challenge to me because while I did name this blog Heroic Technical Writing (as a way to convey that I like to develop clear prose that “wins the day”), I’m aware that my actual writing style is not always very flashy. I write from the brain rather than the heart, and many of my most useful skills involve organizing things, setting up systems, or even designing forms.

Many of these traits are emblematic of what Sally Hogshead calls “The Anchor,” an individual whose primary qualities are Trust (someone who garners respect and maintains loyalty through their dependability and consistency in chaotic environments) and Mystique (someone who has an innate ability to listen and to edit their ideas and opinions).

I know what some of you might be thinking: “Woo, gosh, stand back! Dependability? Consistency? Listens a lot? Doesn’t say much? Sign me up for some of that!” Okay, so those traits might not always jump out at you and scream excitement. But really, so what? I’m not wired for a lot of excitement, and that can be a good thing at times. Note earlier where I mentioned organization and system design? Those traits have their place.

Here’s an example of how I operate in a new workplace: for the first six months, I don’t talk much. Instead, I go into “sponge mode.” I listen. I take notes. I try to diagram how an organization handles people, products, and procedures. I get to know the nomenclature (I’m a relentless acronym collector). I try to understand the underlying politics of an organization–how do things really work? Who has the authority and the ability to make things happen? Those aren’t always the same person. I figure out an organization’s tics, “hot buttons,” and in-jokes.

After six months, I’m usually ready to start talking. At that point, I start making suggestions. I identify where there is disorganization and suggest ways to put information into a useful order. I’ll write documents that incorporate information from the entire organization. I establish reference documents and share the information so everyone knows what I know.

If I have a “hot button,” it’s unexpected changes to established procedures–especially if they’re procedures I created with very specific reasons/benefits in mind. Restless change agents make me crazy because if someone suggests a change, I can identify how that change will affect other people in the organization and will often push back if I believe a change is counterproductive. I don’t resist change on general principle but I often need to understand the “why” behind decisions because I understand the cascading effects “one little change” can make. I’m a thorn in the side of innovative leaders who enjoy or thrive on change for change’s sake, but in the end, I like to believe that I make change agents think through their latest brainstorm more thoroughly before they pull the trigger.

Yet in the end, people go through three phases with me:

  1. This guy’s a little odd. Doesn’t he ever talk?
  2. He’s not so bad.
  3. How did we ever live without him?

Because I serve as part of an organization’s “institutional memory,” people count on me to become a local expert on whatever operation I’m in and because I’m loyal to the organization’s goals and stated purposes as I’ve observed them. So again, maybe that’s not terribly exciting to some, but there are usually customers who value what I do…in time.

Not sure how you add value? Here’s the “How to Fascinate” assessment (fair warning: you either need to buy the book to get a code for the assessment or pay $37 for the assessment without getting the book): http://www.howtofascinate.com/our-research/Fascination-Advantage-Assessment/.

Posted in marketing, personal, philosophy | 1 Comment

Business Development from the Home Office

I’ve been hesitant to write about this part of the freelance experience, mostly because I’m not yet bringing in enough to pay a lot of rent and other bills on a consistent basis. So consider this a work in progress, or advice from where I am right now. If and when I learn more, I’ll keep you posted.

Starting

As with any business, I think, you start with “friends and family.” Lacking family contacts with potential work in Orlando, Florida, I quickly reached out to friends, several of whom did have a need for tech writers. With three good leads, I figured I could get off to a sputtering start. Two leads didn’t work out–one because there was no work, one because I was unable to work with the customer (that’s a story for another day). The third lead continues to send work my way. Not full-time, and not at the volume I’d hoped (yet), but it’s still there, and it’s opened the door to other potential work in the future.

Sustaining

Realizing pretty quickly that my original plans weren’t going to work, I reached out to other friends and even some strangers. Again, the work has been sporadic because not everyone needs my services at the time I need work. If this business has taught me anything, it’s patience in the presence of situations beyond my control. However, it is within my control to continue pursuing work that might lead to other things. This is how I ended up doing volunteer work for the Space Frontier Foundation and Powering Imagination, both of which are organizations advocating activities I’m passionate about–particularly aerospace and high technology.

For example, Space Frontier needs grant-writing help supporting its various projects, one of which teaches would-be entrepreneurs how to develop business plans and presentations that get money from venture capitalists–think there might be a use for that in my future? Meanwhile, Powering Imagination is working on a crowdsourced project to fund a quiet powered aircraft capable of flying over the Grand Canyon without environmental disturbances. The school that would develop the aircraft is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in nearby Daytona Beach. At the very least, I might get out to the campus and meet some interesting people.

But do you see what I just did there? I’m taking the time to stay in touch with the work I love to do even if it doesn’t result in direct benefit because it’s something I love to do. (And, as an extra side-effect, I put in a plug for my customers in a forum they wouldn’t reach otherwise.) I cannot guarantee a positive outcome with either exercise, but I get to stay in touch with people who have similar interests and maybe, somewhere along the line, someone will pick up some bit of my writing for one of those groups and find a use for my talents elsewhere. I would argue that that is akin the actor who waits tables in a restaurant where agents or directors hang out in the hope of being “discovered,” but with a more satisfying return on investment.

And yes, I’m aware there are professional writers who have a very low opinion of “giving it away.” To which I would say this:

  • My experience in the volunteering/advocacy community helped boost my credibility when I was applying for other jobs.
  • My advocacy work has helped me build a network and has put me in contact with people who have had paying work for me.
  • I am helping to advance causes in which I believe. How much advocacy is paid? Why do people advocate for one cause or another, anyway? Because they believe in the intrinsic value of the effort.

This is not to say I will do a whole lot of writing for free. I have, in fact, cut back on the amount of non-paying (not to be confused with nonprofit) work I do. However, if I start supporting a cause, it’s because I see some personal satisfaction or value in it.

Succeeding

I won’t kid you: at least two customers found me. How did that happen? In one occasion I’d put in a resume with the organization months ago and then one day I was called out of the blue, interviewed, and asked to submit samples, all sight unseen; in another case, a small businessman and fellow space advocate found me via LinkedIn and hired me–again, remotely. So it can be done. Success might not always happen the way I want or on the timeline I expect, but I keep trying new things.

The big thing I’m learning through a combination of reading and coaching is that it’s important to specialize rather than generalize my potential customer base. I know, that sounds counterintuitive. However, as Sally Hogshead points out in How the World Sees You, it’s better to be different than “better.” If you can identify your own specialized skills, interests, and value-added clearly, you also can clearly target your potential clients/audiences and most satisfying work. That’s a lot better than trying to be all things to all people.

I’ve got a few months before this house-sitting gig ends. Hopefully by that time I’ll have more steady work in fields that I like. However, as I’ve heard it said, “Hope is not a strategy.” As usual, I have work to do. Best of luck to those of you pursuing the freelance life as well!

Posted in careers, consulting, freelancing, marketing, personal, volunteering | 1 Comment