Archive | In the Workplace

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Starting a new career in any industry can be a scary endeavor, and that’s no less true for writing. Career writing is filled with uncertainty, more so than most other careers, but being a little more informed can help it seem less daunting. So if you’re a prospective writer, here are a couple of key points you’ll want to know before jumping in.

You Need to Read As Much As You Write
As a writer, you’re going to need to read just as much as, if not more than, you write. Reading is a writer’s way of studying their trade. It exposes you to different styles, new perspectives, and more advanced diction, while at the same time teaching you via the material that you’re reading.

You Need to Be Proficient in Grammar, Diction, and Spelling
Of course, if you’re going to be a writer, you’re going to need to know how to write well. Grammar, spelling, and diction are all extremely important aspects of writing, without which a writer cannot be successful. Luckily, there is software available that will assist you in the spelling and grammar departments; for example: Write!, which will spell check, autocomplete, expose grammar mistakes, count your words, and much more. All of this is necessary for any writer to be successful, as a writer that doesn’t follow conventions or makes many mistakes tends not to get very far.

There Is No Specific Path for Becoming a Writer
Being a writer isn’t like being an accountant, doctor, or teacher. Other careers – with predetermined degree expectations, wages, and hours – all have guidelines to getting started and advancing in that industry. A career in writing is entirely one’s own doing. You can get educated about how to write well, but that’s not going to get your work noticed. You’ll have to market yourself and prove your worth on your own. How you do this depends on what kind of writing you want to do. Every writer’s path is different, and getting to the endpoint – the point of success – is never easy.

You’re Going to Do a Lot for a Little
When you start writing, no one is going to want to invest in your work. You’ve got to prove your worth before people will be willing to spend money on you, and that can be done by offering up free work to small enterprises with the hope that someone will notice your skill. This may come in the form of writing for the local newspaper voluntarily, or starting a blog centered on your writing. You’ll start small, work extremely hard, and get paid little. But if you’re persistent, your hard work may very well pay off.

Research Is a Key Part of Career Writing
In order to write, you’ve got to know some things about your topic. This is true for all types of writing, whether business, creative, or web content. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’ll show through. For this reason, it is important to be willing to research and learn about your topic, especially if you want to be considered an expert in your subject.

You Should Have an Auxiliary Income
A career in writing can be dry, in terms of your income, as you are starting out. You’ll have to prove your worth before people will be willing to pay you anything considerable for your work. That being said, having a part-time job, or other source of income, to supplement your needs is helpful so that you don’t go into debt while trying to break into writing. Family support will work too, if available. When your prose starts making a sufficient profit, drop that extraneous income and focus on writing.

This article was contributed by guest author Daniel Smith.

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You’ve decided that you want to be a teacher and finally graduated with your degree. One major consideration to make is whether you want to seek employment in a public or private school. One type of school is not necessarily better than the other, but there are certain advantages that you get working in a private school when compared to the public education system. Keep these factors in mind when you start your job search and have job offers to consider.

Upper Management
Private schools are not part of the large public school system and don’t have as large of a bureaucracy to deal with. When there are issues, it is much easier to handle them without jumping through multiple hoops of management. Communication is clearer and issues are addressed in a quicker, more efficient manner with Catholic Education Services than dealing with the public system.

Class Sizes
Smaller class size is one of the leading reasons that parents send their children to private schools. A smaller class gives teachers an opportunity to interact with students on a more individual basis. Private schools are selective about who they admit and tend to have from 15-18 students in each class, while some public schools have as many as 30 or more students in one classroom. The students are also closer to each other academically, making it easier for everyone to relate and be on the same page during lessons.

Curriculum and Government Influence
Private schools are not funded by tax dollars and federal funding like public schools. They are supported by tuition, fundraisers, and donations. This means that teachers have more freedom to experiment with the curriculum and utilize personal teaching methods without being required to adhere to a rigid, standardized way of educating students.

Discipline
Discipline issues exist in both public and private schools, but private schools have a bit more control in handling the issues. Parents have to pay tuition for private school, which means they are more likely to be involved and contribute to handling issues with behavior for their children. A private school has the right to expel a student that refuses to adhere to the code of conduct. Discipline issues can create distractions that hamper the learning process.

Being a teacher is a selfless career choice, but the environment that you teach in contributes to your experience. Keep these factors in mind when you start applying for jobs and the offers begin to roll in.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

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For all the talk of lazy Millennials, the truth is that we’re the largest generation currently in the US workforce. We are a gigantic and diverse group – born just before or after the turn of the millennium, we makes up almost twenty-five percent of the entire US population. We’re slowly but surely taking over the roles that retiring Boomers once held, and we’re now in a place to start to truly consider our futures. Understanding how our generation – not to mention our employers – is preparing for the workforce is something that deserves a bit of exploration.

The Millennial Preparation Process

As hard as it may be to understand, today’s Millennial is, more or less, already an adult. We’ve been shaped by our families and our peers, and we’ve figured out our worldview, for good or for ill.

So, who is your average member of this generation? First and foremost, he or she has a fairly self-centered world view. We don’t care much for our employer’s view of the world, and we’re willing to move on when we don’t feel fulfilled. We consider loyalty to an employer an outdated concept, and we’re more than willing to move on to a better position even if our employers have a stake in our future.

At the same time, Millennials wanted to be challenged. We move, and we seek out the opportunity to do more when we can. Millennials stay in jobs for two years on average, less than half of the amount of time our parents spent in one position.

Millennials have an entrepreneurial mindset – we want to work for ourselves, and we want to create our own jobs. We like to be coached, but we don’t want to be told specifically what to do. This might come from a lifetime of dealing with hectic schedules and structured activities, but a Millennial responds better to an advisor than a boss.

Finally, the average Millennial is tech savvy. We don’t just use technology – we live in it. There’s no technological hurdle too big for us, and we expect everyone else to keep up. We’d rather telecommute than spend time in the office, and our career choices will reflect this.

A Millennial Perspective on Education

Contrary to what you may have read, Millennials are incredibly pragmatic. We don’t invest in schooling if it’s not immediately practical, and we’ll go after work experience over traditional courses whenever possible. We’d rather try to become competent in a work role than learn about the theory behind the job. Perhaps because of this sheer bloody-minded practicality, Millennials prefer certifications over degrees, seeing them as far more immediately useful in the workforce. Many young people got burned by university – it left them in debt and with no actual practical knowledge that can be applied straight away. That’s why we opt in for courses in skills that are actually sought after, like Salesforce, Java, and so on.

What Millennials Look for in a Job

With all this in mind, it’s important to understand that leading Millennials requires a deft touch. Below are a few tips that most Millennials look for when considering a career.

  • Clear boundaries – with explanations. While our parents may disagree, we do respect authority. What we do not do well, though, is follow blindly. Give Millennials a firm sense of “why”, and we’ll follow you anywhere.
  • Give feedback. Millennials like feedback. We’ve gotten it our entire lives, and we want it now. We are people who want to know what we are doing, and want to do better. If you can coach us to become better, we absolutely will become better.
  • Be Flexible. Don’t be married to traditional paradigms. This is a generation that will work late if you let us come in late, and will make sure we get the job done. If you can abandon the traditional ideas and instead focus on getting work done, Millennials will overperform every time.
  • Leverage our creativity. Millennials may tend to want to be entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work for you. Identify your leaders early on and give them the space to be creative. You can take advantage of our strengths while still offering us what we need.

Changing the Future

In less than a decade, three quarters of the world’s workforce will be Millennials. Unfortunately, surveys show that most of us feel unprepared for our futures. We want to learn more and exceed the labels that have been given to us. All we really want is a chance to prove that we’ve got what it takes.

This article was contributed by guest author Philip Piletic.

Image by Bench Accounting, unsplash.com

Image by Bench Accounting, unsplash.com

When you are about to graduate from college, you will have high expectations about your first job. You might have had some part time jobs, which provided you with insight on what the business world might look like. Prospective employers may even approach you before your final exam and offer you a relatively attractive salary. After graduation, however, things might get more serious than you expected. Take into account the following situations you may encounter:

Demanding Work Schedule
Your typical workday will be 8 to 12 hours (or more) depending on the nature of the job and the amount of time it takes for you to commute from home to work. A full-time job might not give you a chance to have the frequent breaks you had in college. After class, you were able to take time out to catch up on lost sleep or explore extracurricular activities. With your first job, however, your schedule will change abruptly. Even if you stayed up late the previous night, you will have to be alert from 7am when you leave your home until about 7pm when you get back. You may need to develop new schedules for sleeping, eating, exercise and stress-relieving activities.

Learning Curve for the Work and Office Relationships
No matter what your grade point average was in school, you will still have to learn a lot about your job and how to handle interoffice communication. From using Office applications like Excel, Outlook and project management software to managing official emails, you will be faced with a relatively steep learning curve. A useful trick to shorten the learning curve can be obtaining adequate information about the kind of tasks you will perform and the tools required from some of your seniors who have already passed through the entry level stage.

More Expenses
After you leave school, your monthly allowance and student loans will stop. You will have to buy new clothes and shoes for work. You must deduct all your expenses (including accommodation, transportation, clothing, lunch, gym membership, student loan repayment and others) from your salary. So the excitement that comes with collecting a paycheck may not last when you calculate the total expenses you will have to deduct from it. Living within your means and making an estimate of monthly expenses will help you avoid going into debt. Try to keep that in mind when negotiating your salary.

Work May Not Fit the Job Description
Most employers will not thrust a lot of mission critical work, big decisions or client-facing opportunities at you immediately. Contrary to your expectations, your boss may ask you to do relatively repetitive and mundane tasks for the first few weeks. In fact, you may be tempted to complain because your job responsibilities do not match what you were told during the job interview. Don’t despair. Use this period to learn all you can about the company and keep up with industry and career news so you can use each task to prepare for greater responsibilities within the company or on another job. When your boss is satisfied with how you handle the easier tasks, he will be able to trust you with more challenging responsibilities.

Unequal Treatment By Your Boss
Don’t expect to always be given impartial treatment by your boss or company. If you notice that someone from the same school, home state or background as your boss is receiving preferential treatment, try not to take it personally. It will be hard, for sure. But strive to see that situation as a challenge whenever possible. Do your job within time and quality requirements, and you will be on the right track to receiving the preferential treatment for yourself. Also, be sure to focus on your strengths and invest in your personal development. Concentrate on expanding your skill-set and use every task as an opportunity to develop your potentials.

All professionals faced these situations at certain points in their careers. The best thing you can do is remain open for new business adventures, and be ready to constantly learn and adjust. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises however, it might be a good idea to spend some time learning about job ads, or consulting other people who have successfully overcome the challenges that new graduates face in their first job.

This article was contributed by guest author Mila Payton.

Image by William Iven, unsplash.com

Image by William Iven, unsplash.com

Many college students may find after graduation that the job market now asks for more than just a Bachelor’s degree. Recruiters are expecting candidates to have experience fresh out of school and most will be looking for that experience through internships. Internships have become the new normal for college graduates. As a newly graduated student fresh in the job hunt, you will want to have not just a college degree on hand but also a plethora of internships to show off to recruiters. Here are some reasons why interning is an important supplement to your college degree:

1. Gaining Valuable Experience – Internships are one of the best ways to gain real-world experience in the field of your choice. Recruiters are often searching for applicants that already have experience working within an established company through an internship. Experience as an intern shows your future employers not only that you are familiar with a professional work setting but that you are eager to learn and be flexible.

2. Resume Booster – A resume with one or more internships listed will likely put you a step above other candidates that have no internships. This goes along with gaining valuable experience as the more you intern, the more experience you have to list in your resume. An ample resume can help you stand out from the sea of applications that many recruiters receive and internships are an easy way to gain work experience. Your resume is also not just a place to show off what you know but also who you know. Internships are also a great place to meet people that you can list as recommendations or references on your resume.

3. Networking – Another key reason internships are so important is that it gives students opportunities to network and to network with the right people. Everyone knows that who you know in the industry matters just as much as what you know and internships give students a great way to get to know professionals in their field. Networking opportunities such as internships can help put you on the fast track to getting your first job out of school.

4. Opportunities For Hire – Internships are often a great way to get your foot in the door for open positions later. Many hiring managers will look to their interns if positions open up as they already have the experience of working with teams and are already familiar with the office culture. Hiring interns allows managers to offer job positions to people they have already trained as well as cut down on the interview process.

5. Earn College Credit – Many internships offer students college credit in exchange for their time. This means as a student you can gain valuable job experience and have it count towards your degree. Earning that extra college credit often means students can get to their graduation deadline quicker.

6. Develop New Skills – There are some things you just can not learn in the classroom and interning can help you learn skills that happen in a real-world, professional setting. The days of interns running to get coffee or office supplies are long gone, as many companies instead choose a more mentorship approach to with their interns. Students often get to sit in on meetings and help teams accomplish goals or projects.

7. Try Out A Field – Many students go into their degrees without ever experiencing what actually working in the field might be like. Interning gives you the opportunity to try out a field and see if it is right for you.

There are numerous benefits for students to intern and in today’s highly competitive job market, interning has quickly become the new normal. Interning is not confined to one industry either; many companies and organizations in virtually every industry offer internship programs. There are also many internship programs that have the added benefit of paid stipends or even going abroad. Overall, students can only benefit from interning both while in school and after graduation.

This article was contributed by guest author Nick Rojas.

Image by fdecomite, Flickr

Image by fdecomite, Flickr

With the fast paced world of technology progressing at an alarming speed, face-to-face meetings are happening less often than they used to. They are being replaced by Skype calls and web conferences. However, they have not disappeared completely yet, and are still an important part of many people’s job descriptions.

For younger professionals, they are a chance to not only win their superiors’ favor but to also rise higher through the ranks in the company frame. So for those of you looking for tips on how to prepare for work-related travelling, here are some important points you need to remember when leaving on a business trip.

What You Carry

Try not to carry too much with you. Whatever you need for the duration of the business trip will easily fit into a carry-on bag, and that includes all your work wear and any essentials. It is an unrequited obstacle to carry luggage that you will have to wait for at the airport. The less you carry, the less the hassle.

Practical And Easy

The easiest and most practical way to organize your belongings in your suitcase is to put the heavier things by the wheels and the lighter ones towards the top. So if you’re carrying extra shoes, those will be by the wheels, while your folded, ironed shirts will be at the top. Also, another way to stop your ironed, tailored dress shirts from wrinkling is to pack them into plastic bags and squeeze them between the pants and the blazers. In case they wrinkle anyways, leave them on a hanger in the shower and let the steam clear away any remnants of the creases.

Carry your toiletries in your laptop case to avoid the hassle of taking them out of your suitcase at every security checkpoint. What you do not need, do not take with you – that’s the basic rule of travelling light. Extra equipment for any kind of exercise must be avoided, though you can afford to carry a swimsuit with you in case you’re in the mood for a dip in the pool.

The Essentials

Take extra special care of your important documents and try not to lose them. Your passport, ID, and other important documents must be stay with you throughout the trip in your laptop bag. In case of any loss, make hard and soft copies of all your documents. Store the hard copies among your clothes, while you store the soft ones in an online medium so that they are within your reach at all times. Having a reliable backup in the event that anything could go wrong is absolutely necessary.

This article was contributed by guest author Emma Jenifer.

Image by Samuel Mann, Flickr

Image by Samuel Mann, Flickr

Brace yourselves, because the internships are coming! We all know it’s a jungle out there and most of you are confused about what to do when preparing for your first intern position. But, as always, we are here to help with that.

This article will take you by the hand to show you the most important things you should have in mind when undergoing an internship.

Before we present the most popular internship tips from top companies, let’s take a little respite and talk about why someone would want to apply for such a position in the first place.

One of the essential reasons why many people choose to apply for an internship at a company is because they have no idea where they stand career-wise. It would be an understatement to say that choosing your career is a harsh and nerve-consuming process. This is why it is imperative to know what to look for and what industries or departments are best suited for your particular skillset.

Let’s say you’re dying to work at Ikea, but you’re not quite sure what position you might be suited for. This is where an internship comes in. If you’ve researched all the best options to get your foot in the door and discovered that you’re not yet qualified for any of their job openings, you can try your luck with an internship position and get better insight on the exact area where you might contribute.

Performing a three-month internship helps you discover a company’s internal structure, find out what each department does and gives you a better perspective on the type of position you might be suited for in the long run.

Furthermore, this type of experience will look great on your resume and could give you a major career boost when trying to secure a full-time job.

Now, without further ado, here are the five best tips suited for interns.

1. Make it a learning experience

Before starting out on your first day as an intern, make sure to find out everything there is to know about the company’s profile and activity. Search for all available information regarding their values and objectives, their products or services, the organizational culture and the methods they use to promote themselves.

Regardless of the department where you will be interning, this will help you make a positive impression on your supervisor and also help you come up with an accurate approach for the tasks that you will be performing.

Make sure to constantly ask questions and keep learning throughout your entire internship, as this will serve you greatly not only in your activity as an intern, but also later on, when you will be securing a full-time position.

2. Organize your tasks

As a newbie, you’ll probably have a rough time adjusting to your position’s requirements. Every so often, many employers have come to realize that interns quit after a brief period of time because they feel like their workload is overwhelming.

Probably the most sound advice anyone can give you is to learn how to prioritize your tasks. Prioritization doesn’t mean that you will leave something for later and eventually forget the whole deal. Use the spare time you have to review your tasks.

It would also be a good idea to keep a planner nearby. If you’re not the pen and paper type, then you can use a mobile tool. Start with the urgent tasks or with the hard ones, leaving the easy ones for later.

On the subject of planning ahead, you should also ask your supervisor about the deadlines of each project. For example, if a simple project has a distant deadline, you can leave it aside for now and focus on other projects.

Bear in mind that the ability to prioritize is one of the things your employer uses for your evaluation. Acing this one will definitely increase your chances of staying in the company.

Also, keep in mind that your employer wants to see how you work under stress. There are things you could try to relieve some of the pressure felt at work.

3. Dress for success

Bear in mind that the company has a code for everything, including for how you dress. So, if you decide to show up for work wearing flip-flops or a heavy cleavage, you’ll probably transmit a signal that you’re not serious about the commitment.

Research the company’s policy in this regard, but also look around the office to see how people are dressing for the job. If it’s the type of company where everyone is wearing T-shirts and jeans, then you’re probably not going to want to show up for work in a corporate suit and a red necktie. Make an effort to blend in with the rest of the crowd, without necessarily losing your personal style.

4. Ask for a clear list of responsibilities

Most of the time interns are there to help full-time employees. It’s probably a bad idea to dream about ample projects or responsibilities. Bear in mind that as an intern you will probably have to perform menial tasks like photocopying documents, fetching files and even making coffee for the CEO.

Whatever your tasks may be, just be sure to have a clear idea on what is required of you and leave very little room for doubts or vagueness in this regard. If you are unsure about a specific instruction, ask your direct supervisor for further clarification. He/she might be busy with more pressing issues, but at the end of the day, they will look favorably upon your discipline and your sense of responsibility.

5. Ask for feedback

From time to time, ask your employer for feedback. Ask him/her about where you stand, how you fared so far and if there is any room for improvement. Expect some constructive criticism from him or her.

Don’t be discouraged if your employer said that your performance was poor. Instead, look for intelligent ways to improve your work. You might try asking you co-workers for help if you can’t find a satisfactory solution by yourself.

Keep in mind that they also have work to do, so, it will probably be a good idea not to assault them with too many questions.

One last thing: keep in mind that each feedback can impact us in different ways. There are many studies out there who proved that there is indeed a link between intern feedback and overall productivity.

For someone who has just stepped out of university and has no real work experience, an internship can be a challenging and rather daunting notion. The learning process may not be easy – it might even be a competitive environment – but as long as you follow the five tips outlined in this article, you will stand a very good chance of landing a favorable review or – fingers crossed – an offer to join the company full-time.

This article was contributed by guest author Amanda Wilks.

It may seem like a cliche, but most college kids are actually broke most of the time. Tuition costs and living expenses aren’t going anywhere, but if you’re going to school to be a writer, you’ll be happy to know that you can start making money now and build your portfolio before you have a degree in hand.

Freelance writing can be a great way to bring in funds while you’re still in school. Today we’ll look at some ways to balance your classes with your work and how to become a better writer in the process with an amazing infographic!

Being a Writer While You’re Still in College

While it may seem like you don’t have any time for work, you can find the time you need through careful planning and by choosing the right jobs to meet your needs. I’ve been writing for almost a decade now, and these are things I wished I knew back then. Here are three things you can do to start making money while you’re in college:

1. Get Experience First

You won’t be able to pick up a huge job right away, you’ll need experience. You can find plenty of opportunities on your campus, whether it be volunteer work, tutoring, or odd jobs around campus. Check to see if some of the local journalists need help with the school’s blog or newspaper.

2. Schedule Your Semester

As you schedule your classes, space things out so you know you’ll have time to pitch new ideas or pick up more work. Finding and earning work can take weeks in some cases, so you should keep your schedule flexible and open.

3. Choose Things You’re Passionate About

This may go without saying, but if you write about things you like or care about, it will flow a lot faster than trying to crank out an article on a subject you couldn’t care less about. Think about the difference between writing a story and writing a paper for class and you’ll see what I mean.

Building Your Writing Career (Infographic)

Take a look at this infographic and consider the various strategies and tools it has to offer. This information will help you find and obtain the writing jobs you want and deserve.

Image by Matt Banner

Image by Matt Banner

This article was contributed by guest author Matt Banner.

Image by Wokandapix, pixabay.com

Image by Wokandapix, pixabay.com

After graduating with a degree in your chosen field, it can be difficult to keep up with industry changes and trends. Even if your schooling has you up-to-date on everything you need to know now, changing technologies may leave you in the dark without a ready source of updated information. This is particularly true if you are unable to find a job in your field immediately after graduating. Here are some ways alumni can keep up with the times:

Subscribe to Everything
After graduation, get yourself a subscription to to trade journals, industry blogs, e-mail newsletters and other publications. This keeps you in touch with your field whether you’re currently working in it or not. Online subscriptions and free blogs make it easy to subscribe to information even when you’re on a tight budget.

Attend Events
Trade shows, conferences and other industry events are excellent places to network and see the latest innovations in your area of study. Webinars and teleconferences are increasingly common as well, and allow you to learn the latest news without the time and expense of traveling.

Continuing Education
If you’ve just graduated, the idea of continuing training and education might seem strange, but taking a class or two on new technologies every year is an excellent way to keep up. A few hands on classes at the HVAC Technical Institute, for example, can set you apart from the competition. Gaining the necessary technical skills can give you an edge when applying for jobs.

Frequent Job Boards
Even if you already have a good job in your area of study, keep searching the newspaper and online job sites frequently. The qualifications and skills they list will tell you if there are any certifications or emerging technologies that employers are searching for. If there are, you can highlight the skills you have on your resume and acquire the ones you don’t through additional training.

Get Social
Social media pages of industry leaders are a great place to see what everyone is talking about. Here you can find out what industry trends are taking off and which are languishing by chatting with other professionals. You can even follow your competitors to see what they’re doing.

In fast-paced industries you can find yourself out of the loop alarmingly quickly after graduation. Stay relevant and keep your skills sharp by staying on top of industry trends through these means. Your learning shouldn’t stop after graduation, so embrace every opportunity to discover new things.

This article was contributed by guest author Anita Ginsburg.

Image by PublicDomainPictures, pixabay.com

Image by PublicDomainPictures, pixabay.com

When you decide to throw your hat into the ring of self employed freelance writing, it might be because you’ve heard that some writers charge up to $200 per hour for their services. Whilst some high-profile, well-regarded copywriters might indeed have a solid enough reputation to be able to charge these kind of amounts for their time, the reality is that most freelance writers across the world are very far from even the average of $60 per hour that is generally quoted from various sources online.

Though freelance writing is a fantastic opportunity for you to determine your own workload and set your own wages, if entered into halfheartedly and without industry knowledge, it can be a huge struggle to make ends meet. With this in mind, here are our five tips for how to develop your freelance writing career into something that can provide you with both personal and professional sustenance.

1. Avoid Distraction

When you are working from home with all of your personal comforts around you, it can be incredibly easy to become distracted. To put it simply, when you work for yourself, time is money, and you need to be really strict with yourself about how you spend that time. Spending much of the day behind a computer screen brings a myriad of different procrastination temptations. A few handy programs are available online like StayFocusd and Leechblock that will block certain functions on your computer and allow you to concentrate on your productivity.

2. Get Organized

Working from your home environment requires a strict amount of organization for your business to flourish, as you are not governed by traditional office hours, etc. You could work all day or you could work all night if you prefer, but what is crucial is that you get into an organized routine that your mind and body can become accustomed to. Find out when you are at your most productive and arrange your schedule accordingly.

3. Find Your Niche

With so many freelance writers out there competing for work, it can really pay off for you to find and develop a niche subject that you become the go-to writer for. Some writers like to focus on business, others like to focus on education; whatever it is that you feel you are best at, make it known to prospective clients and work to have your name be positively linked with whatever you choose.

4. Consider Outsourcing

It can sometimes be the case that you have no work one week and too much the next, so to make sure you always meet your deadlines and satisfy clients. You could consider outsourcing some of your projects in order to complete your workload. There are plenty of great outsourcing networks set up online for freelancers to share their load and sacrifice certain assignments for the greater good. Don’t get bogged down; outsource and lighten your stress levels.

5. Utilize Online Tools

You don’t have to just sit there in front of a blank word document and try to create your own help or inspiration. There are plenty of online tools that can be incredibly helpful for a freelance writer. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • ZenWriter – this is a full-screen, distraction free working environment that allows you to write and stay completely focused on your projects. It is a simple interface that eliminates any potential distractions.
  • Google Calendar – Google Calendar is the perfect personal assistant when it comes to remembering and meeting deadlines. Get into the habit of inputting every new assignment you receive into the program and you can set handy reminders and progress checkers for individual projects.
  • HelpScout – HelpScout is a service that you can use to separate your work emails from your personal emails in order for your inbox to become much more stress-free and easy to handle. The last thing you want to do is miss an important work message, and with HelpScout that problem is easily solved.

This article was contributed by guest author Linda Craig.