When you’re trying to build your career you need to consider a number of things. Do you know what you’re good at? Are you currently making a living from those skills, or are you putting them off to the side, as hobbies like society tells you to? Maybe you’re just not sure how you can actually make money from doing what you love.
What if I told you that there’s a way to monetize any and every skill that you have once you love doing it and you’ve honed it to a reasonable degree of competence?
Let’s look at five steps to help you make the most of the rest of this year and make a living with your skills and talents.
Find a target audience for your niche and focus on it
Maybe you’re a creative who has been been writing, singing, dancing or playing that instrument for fun, but walk with me with me a bit… Close your eyes and think of yourself doing that same hobby for someone outside of your friends and family, and then either getting a round of applause or writing them an invoice.
That person, or group of people, that comes to mind is your target audience!
Does what you do bring a smile to someone’s face? Does it cause people to cheer loudly? Is it a page turner? Visualize the person you’d want to smile the most, cheer the loudest or vote your work “a best seller”, and you’ve identified the set of people most likely to pay you for what you do!
Build out your portfolio to build your career
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to start putting together a collection of pieces you’ve done – whether it’s artwork, songs, compositions, published articles or “spec” articles.
This is known as you’re portfolio.
Today, there are so many digital platforms available to help build your career. And social media posts are also valid outlets to showcase examples of your body of work and what you would eventually like to get paid for. Sites like The Muse breaks it down further for you in this artlice.
Take some time to refine your resume
The third step to making a living from your skills is to refine your resumé.
The most effective way to get a foot in the door of the career of your dreams, is through a knock-out resumé that puts who you are, what skills you have and what you can do, or have done with them, into a package that will get you a second and third look from hiring managers.
Check out pieces like this from The Balance Careers, that provide not only reader-friendly advice on how to refine your resumé, but templates that give you a visual of what to do.
Beyond the interview, you can pitch new positions to companies
So often we find ourselves settling and eventually getting stuck in fields that don’t push us to reach our greatest potential. But there is a solution – propose to the company of your dreams.
I’m talking about pitching letters. Put your abilities in writing and actually approach the companies you want to work for, with practical ways that they could use your particular set of skills. This does require that you’ve already refined your resumé so that it shows off what you want it to.
After that, research the history, mission, goals, products and current developments of the company you’re going after to give you better insight into what needs they may have and how your skills can fulfill them.
To make a living you have to bounce back from rejection
If there is one thing that’s guaranteed in the freelancing journey – and in the general job hunt – it’s rejection… sometimes with a capital “R”.
You may initially feel disinclined to continue the pursuit of monetizing your skills and talents. But, it’s wise to adopt a firm resilience in the face of rejection of your applications, proposals and any other offering that you may have put forward.
Your ability to bounce back will not only prepare you to renew your efforts elsewhere, but to commit to constant reinvention and expansion of your brand.
Self-evaluation can come through feedback that you may receive from persons who are in your dream field. Network with these people and ask them to give you constructive feedback on a rejected proposal or your resumé. But try to establish at least some rapport before you do this to give yourself a better chance of having them actually review it.
As you try to make a living with your skills and talents, it is important never to give up. While you may need to rest and re-calibrate at times, forward momentum will serve your dreams well.