Freelancing is becoming a pleasant prospect for plenty of working professionals, more so those who need to work on their own terms. While independent contractors can never be identical, the characteristics of the best and most successful freelancers are often similar. The combination of 21st-century skills unveils a new set of essential skills that every freelancer in the UAE needs to become a productive member of the gig economy.
According to a Global Human Capital Trends study of 2019 by Deloitte, winning high-paying jobs at big enterprises may soon get easier. The report highlights the alternative workforce comprising contractors, gig workers, and freelancers becoming the norm due to increasing competition in the talent market. The simplicity of obtaining these well-paying projects applies to the top-tier independent professionals. In this post, we are going to look at the four Cs of 21st-century learning and their influence on your freelance career.
Growth among the large, universal freelance online communities like Upwork and UAE-based platforms e.g. Bawabba and Nabbesh continues to attract business-oriented clients and companies, as well as workers with the skills to serve these customers. Freelancers in Dubai can tap into these talent networks to find rewarding jobs. Independent workers need to curate their characteristics and make them more attractive to potential employers.
Here are the four crucial features every freelancer should nurture to help plug into lucrative openings;
1. Critical Thinking
It is getting difficult to find and verify accurate information on the internet. Along with working through problems, critical thinking involves aspects of skepticism. The current growth in the gig economy has plenty of assertions. For example, a simple Google search on “how to become a successful freelancer” will give a whole assortment of contradicting web content. As one of the best pieces of advice, critical thinking will empower you to discern the truth in the statements, especially if you need to separate fact from opinion.
The trait goes beyond learning some facts or figures but helps you to:
- Ask important questions
- Engage with the immediate world
- Learn how to find the facts on their own
- Help others adopt analytical thinking
Analyzing situations is one of the four Cs in the skills you need to become a prosperous freelancer. Critical thinking works fine when you use it alone. However, combining it with the next ability will make you a competent, independent worker.
Creativity involves thinking beyond the ordinary. Even though we treat creativity as an inborn trait, freelancers in the UAE can learn how to be creative. Some of the ways to acquire a creative habit include trying something you have never worked on in life, creating systems, or finding new solutions to problems. Teaching yourself to be creative does not mean that you’ll end up like other innovative freelancers. Instead, it means you can look at issues from multiple angles, including perspectives that others may not see.
A recent study by Kalido on the future of freelance indicates that employees find freelancers to be a significant part of the workplace due to their innovative ideas and extensive networks. The same research credits freelancers for opening up new job prospects, along with changing the size and nature of the workforce.
Most freelancers have small enterprises as their typical clients. With rising numbers of small businesses, so is the demand for flexible and innovative workers. By nurturing creativity, a freelancer can:
- Embrace their inner strengths
- Start to practice big-picture planning
- Become meticulous organizers
- Express their fresh ideas in healthy and productive methods
- Get extra motivation to share their innovativeness with others
You should note that not all creative endeavors would end up successful. Many of your ideas will not work as most of your attempts could fail. The failures should not discourage you because the point of creativity is to nurture distinct thinking to what convention demands. Therefore, creativity becomes a useful freelancing tool if you use it with the next 21st-century trait.
Collaboration involves working with others for a common purpose. Teamwork is an essential skill in the freelancing world because you will always need the support of others. Nearly all projects require you to pool resources with another party at a certain level. For example, optimizing your LinkedIn profile makes you part of an industry-relevant network for maximum industry visibility.
In addition to addressing problems, practicing collaboration will help you to pitch solutions as well as determine the best course of action. Things are not always straightforward in the freelance industry. You will have to make independent decisions in many situations. Some clients may not approve of your best choices.
Instead of feeling unappreciated and tossing aside the project, it is an opportunity to learn that other people do not share the same ideas that you do. The more you practice collaboration, the more you pick up fresh ideas and skills that will propel your freelance career. Teamwork will help you to work with different types of clients and take on diverse projects without fear of strong and opinionated reactions.
Communication involves how quickly and clearly, you convey messages or ideas. We often take the practice for granted by thinking that saying something is similar to communicating an idea. In the present era of text-based communications, including social media, short message services, multimedia services, and emails, among others, it has never been more crucial for freelancers to express their thoughts in a manner that others can comprehend.
The challenge with text-based communications is that they lack tone, an essential element to understanding the context of another person’s words. That notwithstanding, freelance professionals need to learn effective communication even in situations that involve vocal tone. For instance, when conveying a message, a successful freelancer will:
- Minimize the use of tangents
- Speak directly to their idea
- Check to see the engagement of other participants
Reading your audience’s reaction could determine whether to expand on an idea or wrap up the point. Practicing communication makes you better at persuasively expressing an opinion without losing the point.
The Bottom Line
Locking down the four Cs of 21st-century skills can help independent workers streamline their ideas. Making a positive impression on your clients is essential to thriving in the freelance profession. Critical thinking should teach you how to seek the truth by questioning claims. Creativity makes you acquire unique thinking in every problematic situation. You will learn to win bigger by practicing collaboration than embracing individualism. You must effectively convey ideas to work with others.
The four Cs empower solopreneurs to become think tanks that every client wants to hire because they can achieve virtually anything. With these skills, the next significant endeavor is to seek the right clients and projects. Your combination of skills could see you achieve limitless success by signing up on the Bawabba platform, a leading freelancing online community in the United Arab Emirates. We do not apply any charges for freelancers in the UAE to become a part of our network. Sign up today and start your path to becoming a top-notch freelancer.