LinkedIn Live recap: The freelance journey
12 Oct 2023
Did you miss our last LinkedIn Live with Elastic Team members Sammie Skinner and Jason Edwards? Distributed Founder Cal Adamson spoke with them about their freelance journeys and how they intentionally build successful, independent careers. If you missed it, don’t worry. Check out our top three takeaways and watch the full recording on our LinkedIn page.
Freelancing can provide flexibility, variety, and control over one's career but it also requires self-motivation and continuous upskilling
Jason Edwards: The flexibility that you have in a freelance career is key. For example, I have my own office space and I can choose which days I go into an office. I get to ask myself: Where do I want to work today? Do I want to go to my office space in central London? Or do I want to work from home?
Sammie Skinner: What I’ve found is that how far you want to go is really under your own control. You have a lot of control over the direction that your career takes, especially when you have been working on projects in a specific area for a few years. People start to respect the fact that you do have a portfolio of evidence to show them. You’re able to better demonstrate the value that you’re going to bring to a company.
Freelancers have more responsibility to clients but also more authority in their roles
Sammie Skinner: Going into a role, I always try to understand the system and the team first. You just have to have open conversations with people and remind them that going in to affect change doesn't mean that anything that they’ve done is wrong, it just means that we're working to make it easier for the whole team. You're going in as a service provider, but you're also going in as an expert in your field. You’re highly experienced, and that's why they're paying the extra money to have a contractor. You have to be aware of your own value in that situation. You’ll need to have a bit of a thick skin to do this kind of job, because you’re going to have pushback from people.
Jason Edwards: Yes, always give your best each day. Because you're there for a temporary period of time. It’s helpful to ask yourself: What can I do the best for my client? How can I look after them? How can I provide the best expertise and the best skills? So it's both investing within the client, providing the greatest possible service that you can have, but also looking ahead and saying to the future of the relationship.
To succeed as a freelancer, it's important to continuously learn new skills, especially emerging technologies, and build a support network
Sammie Skinner: I think conflict management courses are a really good tool for engaging with differing opinions as well. They can help you run through scenarios, even if it's just in your head so that when you do find these difficult situations, you can navigate them a little bit better and a little bit more kindly to those people around you.
Callum Adamson: Yes, slowly, you can actually do what Sammy does, which is impact change, push it forward. Over time, and with practice, maybe with a few Udemy or YouTube courses, you can actually learn to be better at conflict resolution, and help people understand what you're there to do.