This is me ranting. Mostly because the jobs I’ve had to do within the last one month have been HARD. Like super-duper HARD! Headache-generating HARD! Things which I really had to go out of my comfort zone to do adequate research on and which at the end of the day, make me hit my bed in exhaustion. At times, I truly would have quit. Like “I’m not doing again, coman carry your work” mode activated, but motivation from a dear friend (and pride) wouldn’t let me. So, I had to redouble my hustle and get to work, because ain’t no quitters on this team!
One thing which resonated in my heart throughout the month of September was that yes- these jobs are hard. In fact, I fell sick during the month and I think it’s because the work was simply too difficult for me to navigate at once. However, I learnt some key lessons while dealing with these hard jobs, and it just might help someone.
1. You’ll get a breakthrough if you keep at it
There were days when I just wasn’t able to move on. Like I was stuck, and all I could do was staring at my computer for hours because translating stuff from Spanish to English wasn’t fun; neither was doing extensive research about pension plans and employer sponsored healthcare benefits. Headaches came and went, I binge watched episodes of Suits and Big Bang Theory when I couldn’t move on, but after a while, I went back to the work after a while of staying away from it.
Sure enough, I discovered that after a while of being fazed, it felt like my brain was reconfigured to the ‘hard work’, and I got a breakthrough. Seriously, it felt like an achievement whenever I got a breakthrough on a terribly hard job. Although it took more time before I could finish these jobs, at least I had the satisfaction that I had overcome hurdles (for someone who is very goal-oriented, tackling hard issues is something I take pride in!).
2. Rest Baby, Rest
I take this advice sometimes, but I’m a little guilty of picking work above rest. Anyway, the point is that you’ve got to rest. The best way to do good jobs is to work with a clear brain, one which you can only attain when you rest. I don’t want to veer off the conversation, but when you’re in a certain phase of sleep; your brain is truly able to consolidate on knowledge- which is why it is sometimes easier to work when a good night’s worth of sleep has been gotten.
This is a piece of advice given to me by my mother (yep). According to her, if you’re doing any job and it’s easy for you to forget to eat, that job is difficult. I could be seated on a spot, typing for four hours and I would completely forget about eating, which is why I try to keep something edible (sometimes, but not all the time this something is healthy) by my side while I work. If it works for you, you might adopt the same tactic, but you MUST make it a point of duty to eat.
4. Be Willing to Get out of your comfort zone
I know what is easy for me to write on- for instance, motivation. I also know jobs that are clearly out of my comfort zone. If I choose to work within my comfort zone only, while it’s akin to developing my niche, it means that I wouldn’t grow in my knowledge base- and I like to know stuff.
Once in a while, I go out of my comfort zone to develop my writing muscles. Also, I’m trying to avoid what is called reactive professional growth which could easily happen if I keep sitting on my butt expecting a job within my niche!
5. Don’t Take Too Many Jobs Outside Your Comfort Zone
While it is important to get out of your comfort zone at times, I’d like to point out that you shouldn’t do this so often that it ends up stripping you of any kind of decent motivation which you’d normally have. As freelancers, there is still that very vital notion of having a niche and nurturing one’s self in it so that not only are people familiar with our voices, but we also trust ourselves to deliver terrific jobs within this niche. Therefore, while going outside your comfort zone is cool, it ain’t cool to be out there on the curb, in the cold, most of the time. Sometimes, stay within your comfort zone and bask in your awesomeness too!
Till next time, let’s sip wine and enjoy the jobs we have on our hands, hard or difficult or super-easy; all in the spirit of freelancing!