While you may not have a locker combo or backpack full of textbooks anymore, there’s no reason why you can’t continue your education once you’re a full-time freelancer. In fact, learning new skills and adapting to the changing work landscape is crucial if you want to maintain a long (and successful) career. We’ve outlined some great ways to keep the learning going below:
If you’re not sure where to start your educational journey, joining a freelancer association can help. The Texas Freelance Association provides you with a support network of other freelancers, as well as access to education resources. Stay up-to-date on local industry events through the association as well, which are a great way to get in touch with fellow entrepreneurs.
If you’re not a Texan (we forgive you), there’s also the Freelancer’s Union, which offers a wealth of helpful blog content (for free!), in addition to the big essentials like health and dental insurance. And if you're an editor or writer, the Editorial Freelancer's Association has a number of resources including rate guides, a job board, directory listings for members, and events.
Take Online Courses
Getting another degree isn’t the only way to improve your skillset. If you’re a creative entrepreneur (or would like to expand your knowledge base), there are plenty of online resources at your disposal.
Check out Envato Tuts+, which offers classes on everything from code to web design to Freelance Bootcamp, all for $15 a month. Are you a visual learner? Udemy’s video courses on all sorts of subjects in the business and marketing fields are for you.
And we can't forget the technology professionals! Keeping your skills up-to-date is one of the best ways to remain competitive, especially in the tech sector where things are change rapidly. Lynda, a favorite amongst graphic designers, also has a host of web and software development courses to help you learn something new.
Attend Meetups/Lectures/Industry Events
Yes, it can be awkward, but networking, whether done through Meetups, industry events, or lectures, is a great way to build new relationships and tap into a network of intelligent and insightful people in your field. Who knows the tricks of the trade better than other freelancers in your area?
Networking has a big added bonus: helping you find more work. In fact, 85% of positions are filled through networking. So not only are you making yourself smarter, you're getting more work, too. Sounds like a win-win to us!
The biggest piece of advice we can give you is to never stop learning, and we hope that these tips are helpful in getting you on the right track. Do you have any particular resources you use for continued education? We’d love to hear them – leave us a comment!