Episode 086

086: Balancing professional growth with getting paid

Professional development and growing your skills is important in any design job, but when you’re freelancing it can be hard to fit in as any time you spend learning is time not spent working for clients. in this episode we discuss the responsibility we have to develop our skills and how we incorporate learning into our projects.

“You can’t make a client feel confident in your abilities if YOU don’t feel confident in your abilities”

— Charli

Key takeaways

1| As a freelancer growing your skills is part of your job. It’s up to you to make the time for it so that you can continue to improve and keep challenging yourself.

2| You need some level of confidence in your new skill before you take on a client project using it. To start with, use the skill in a side project instead. It’s a great way to learn while creating something new.

3| If you’re using a new skill in a client project, make sure it’s an extension of a skill you already have and not something totally new. That way there will be less unknown variables, and you’ll have some idea of how to scope the project.

4| You may want to lower your rates the first time you do a client project with a new skill, especially if it is going to take you longer than an experienced person would to complete it. You’ll get non-monetary benefits for working on it, like the experience and the chance to add it to your portfolio to get higher-paying clients in the future.

Show timestamps

01:00 Alex’s email about balancing growth and getting paid
01:30 Chat about the community 
05:00 How we’ve balanced learning + working
08:45 The responsibility of a freelancer when it comes to professional development
11:40 Learning by doing (side projects)
15:30 Lowering your rates 
19:20 Working with repeat clients and learning from others
21:15 extending your skillset
24:00 Making time for a side project and professional growth
30:15 comments from community members

Show links

Show credits

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Our theme tune was created by Camiel van Schoonhoven