Assessing Your Skills
by Rachel Goldstein
As a freelancer you must demonstrate an expertise in your field. You will need to demonstrate self-confidence of your abilities in order to land a gig. In order to realize what all of your skills and talents are, you will need to evaluate yourself once again. I bet I know what you are thinking, "Again?" Even if you have been working for years, there are probably many skills that you don't even recognize that you have. One-way to find out what all of your skills are is to list you're past achievements. Think back on school, activities, work, and other similar environments. How did you get out of sticky situations at work? How did you raise your company's profit levels? How did you make sales? Even little achievements count here. Don't feel bad if you cannot remember anything, just keep trying. Don't skip this important step; this is how you are going to find out what your central theme of your freelancing business is going to be.
On the left side of the above chart you will need to list your achievements. Write down what the problems and solutions were. On the right side of the chart you should translate your achievements into skills that you hone. Take a look at the below example.
|Problem: Need to Increase Sales
Solution : Give away a freebie
|Problem: Employees in company keep to themselves
Solution: Organize a birthday pool - everyone picks a name out of a hat and brings in a cake for the birthday person for small parties.
Human Relations Skills
|Problem: Department is always behind deadline
Solution: Set smaller inner-department deadlines
The Problem: You need to increase sales.
The Solution: Give away a freebie to entice customers.
Skills: Your skills in this situation are promotional and marketing skills. In addition, you are very innovative.
The Problem: People in your office don't communicate or acknowledge each other.
The Solution: Organization of a birthday poll. When it was time for someone's birthday, everyone congregated for cake and drinks.
Skills: Your skills in this situation are organizational skills, human relations skills, and creativity.
The Problem: Department always misses deadlines.
The Solution: Set smaller inner-departmental deadlines in order to meet bigger deadlines.
Skills: Good planning skills and creativity.
If these were all of your skills, I would tell you that you would be a great event planner. Organizing and planning seem to be your strongest skills, and along with your marketing and creative thinking skills, promotion of your company will come easily for you.
Go thru your achievements, and break them down into solid skills. Write all of your skills down on the provided chart. But, wait you aren't done here. If you have any talents, (special abilities that you are born with) write them down on the provided chart. Some examples of talent are illustration, writing,design, etc. If you cannot think of any talents that you have, ask people that you are close to if they know of any talents that you might have. Sometime individuals are unaware of their talents. If you aren't sure ask.
After reviewing all of your talents and skills, brainstorm. What would be a good field for you to be in? If you already have a field, for example: graphic design, pick a specialty for yourself, for example: promotional design.
If the choice for your freelance business is still not clear, take the following steps:
1. Look around for services that are right for you. Try looking in the yellow pages.
2. Go to the small business aisle in your local bookstore and do some research.
3. Examine your hobbies and interests; are any of these good for a home business?
4. Is your current job something that you could do from home?
5. Check the business section of your local newspaper for business opportunities
6. List some freelance home business ideas
What you have done today is summarize what you can offer as a consultant. Keep this list; you will need this later when creating your promotional items for your business.