2011-05-19

The way to long-term freelance jobs

Doing good work, on time and within budget, is only the starting point. Here are some ways to really shine, and foster a longer-term collaboration:
  • Contribute ideas. Go beyond the call of duty. When you can suggest improvements, either for the immediate task at hand or to complement the employer's efforts in general, you show that you brings ideas and initiative, as well as technical skill.
  • Beat deadlines. The employer wants to feel like he's getting more than he's paying for, so you want to surpass expectations whenever possible. Coming in ahead of schedule is a no-cost way to impress.
  • Be responsive and available. You're not there in the same office, but do your best to prove that distance is no challenge. This can mean checking your emails outside local "business hours," and finding other ways to minimize the impact of time zones on your relationship.
  • Earn trust. If you don't know how to do something, admit it. If you're eager to tackle a challenge, but lack the experience, tell the employer — he may give you the go-ahead, but being honest upfront will keep expectations realistic and help him make a smart decision about assigning the work.
  • Communicate smoothly. Sometimes emails between you and your employer may be unclear, or seem negative. Work to fix communication issues early on. You want your employer to view communicating with you as a pleasure, not a chore.
  • Be "low maintenance." The employer gives you work to make his life easier, to get it off his plate. Try to get all the information you need early on in the assignment phase. Never hesitate to ask followup questions, and give progress reports at the expected intervals. But try to get everything you need up front to make the employer feel like working with you is an easy choice.
via ODesk Newsletter

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