If you can drag yourself away from your work for the Bank Holiday – well done!
Too many people, when they launch into self-employment, become unsympathetic with their own needs, and deny themselves the joy of the Bank Holiday Weekend. Those eight golden days of the year, which were once assumed as your God given right as a worker, no longer seem to apply to you.
So, firstly, if you can afford it, if you won’t be returning to a sinking ship, take the weekend off. Guiltlessly flounce around with your full-timer friends and reminisce on the days of holiday allowances and sick pay. If that isn’t possible, as for all too many of us it isn’t, have a listen to, or read some of these articles and podcasts, which will hopefully run a silver lining through that Not-Holiday-Bank-Holiday cloud.
THE ACCIDENTAL CREATIVE – Todd Henry
As freelancers, you often need to know a little bit about a lot of things, and that is essentially what this podcast is all about. It’s the audio baby of a much broader organisation which, ambitiously, ‘Helps creative people and teams do Brilliant Work’. With each podcast they interview an expert on their niche, from The Proximity Principle, maximising professional relationships and the art of planning ahead. Blessed with the ultimate podcaster attribute, a soothing voice, Todd is an unfailingly reassuring guide to navigate you through the trials and tribulations of self-employment and freelancing.
LCF CAREERS – Matt Dowling and Roxanne Peters
Coming from the Careers centre at London College of Fashion – part of UAL, Matt Dowling and Roxanne Peters created a podcast series aimed primarily at Arts graduates embarking on their careers as self-employed or freelance workers. While most applicable to the Arts and fashion industries, the processes and skills they cover are relevant to everyone; from finances, protecting your Intellectual Property and the value of mastering your craft. A definite good listen if you’re looking for well-researched, articulately delivered, practical information.
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE – Dale Carnegie
You can never beat the classic, right? Well, I actually don’t think that’s true, but How to Make Friends and Influence People has proven itself to be a stalwart in professional self-help since its original publication in 1936. 1936!
The title has always put me off in the past, seeming a bit exploitative and blokey, but learn from my mistakes that there is a lot more integrity to this book than you would expect. Dale’s essential line is not to differentiate between personal and professional relationships, everything functions around compromise, and that genuine kindness can encourage others to behave and respond better towards you. The book then rattles through how to use this mantra to lead others to like, respect, collaborate and agree with you.
While some of the examples may not have aged well, this is still worth its place on your book shelf.
THE SHY PERSON’S GUIDE TO WINNING FRIENDS AND INFLUENCING PEOPLE – Michael Thompson
And as a reprieve, if Dale’s angry man voice gets a bit much, feel the love, and reality, in this brief blog from Michael Thompson. He provides an alternative approach to networking and professional relationships, from the perspective of someone who doesn’t naturally draw every eye in the room, and doesn’t feel the need to. He shares the crucial wisdom of zoning in on your natural skills, situating them within your industry, and anticipating at what moments and functions these will be of benefit to you, specifically.
With lines such as – ‘I didn’t try to compete with the extroverts. I let them win at their game. Instead, I decided to invent my own; and went all-in on being as thoughtful as possible.’ And ‘Instead, I play the long game. And I let the compounding beauty of kindness do the work for me.’ – you’ll either learn some invaluable work tips, or fall in love, either way a definite good Bank Holiday read for freelancers.
Whatever you’re doing this weekend - have a good one!