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The 10 Freelancer Commandments

Working on their own is a system people are adopting more and more, but to have more freedom does not mean that you have less responsibility or that you have permission to be informal, experts coincide.

“Young people don’t dream with becoming corporative executives anymore. They want to create, innovate and be their own bosses” said the Mexico Startup founder and enterprising specialist, Marcus Dantus.

Flexible schedules, to work practically from anywhere, to save time and money from trips to the office, freedom of action and project’s versatility are some of the benefits of being a freelancer. However, there are some negative aspects like not having social insurance retirement benefits, to have unstable income and to absorb a good part of a common business risks pretty much on your own.

In the past to be independent was something people simply wouldn’t have done. But this perception is changing “when someone who was a freelancer comes to ask for a job, what I see in most of cases is creative people that know how to take care of themselves” explains the Shore México Human Consultancy Director and headhunter, Linda Shore.

Now we will give you the 10 commandments to be independent in the best way possible: 

  • You shall love your work upon all things:

The best thing a freelancer can have is good reputation. Generally, people working on their own, perform in creative areas and are related to innovation, like designers, journalists, advertisers etc. To keep a good reputation being efficient and honest is substantially important.

  • You shall not take the name of your client in vain:

Companies trust their collaborators, internal or external. It is essential to appreciate that confidence having a strict confidential code, never sharing the info they provide.

  • Remember your customer is the most important and you might have to sacrifice weekends, or sleep time.

Yes, it’s alright to wake up late sometimes or to take the day off, but just if your work allows it. In reality, independent people use to be available 24/7 since they work completely based on results and more work is translated to more income, big difference between that and someone working in an office that receives the same amount of money independently of their performance.

  • Honor your Client.

Keep good relations and direct and honest communication with your immediate boss so you can have a long and good commercial relation. The same applies to the person who is the responsible of the payments. To have open communication with the administrative people can save you more than once.

  • You shall not plagiarize or auto-plagiarize

Related to point number one, you shouldn’t do the same thing for 2 customers, unless both know about it. Some companies will want to sign up a contract, it is implied a freelancer service for a project are exclusive and all information shared is considered confidential information.

  • You shall not commit impure acts, such as not respecting your deadlines.

To respect agreements so the customer can completely trust you and your capacity to have the work ready, is one of the most important things you can develop when you work on your own.

  • You shall not stop learning.

Even when you don’t have much work to do, a freelancer should try to keep its knowledge to the day, reading, taking courses or thinking about new stuff. Its biggest objective is to keep a well development of creativity and ability to bring the ideas to the ground.

  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

When a freelancer makes a mistake it should be properly recognized and offer a solution to it, or take the consequences of it. Creativity should be used in these cases to transform the situation in something good, this will help you to introduce yourself as a responsible honest worker and will help you to strengthen the confidence.

  • You shall not covet.

Every time there is more competition between freelancers, and that’s not a secret, it is natural that sometimes a colleague/competitor gets a project you would have liked to develop. To envy what others got is not professional or productive. Focus in your work.

  • You shall learn to administrate and save up.

One of the biggest challenges of freelancers is the auto-administration. It is extremely necessary to get ready for moments with less work which means less money, they can come at several times depending on the sector you are working in.

A complete medical insurance plan is not something you should forget, plus it is a deductible expense. To have at least the 10% of your income to save up for your retirement is important as well.

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