Freelance is the new Dance of the Workplace
Jobs are going and forced entrepreneurship seems the only way out unless of course you have enough money to last a lifetime the time has come to develop deeper relationships over voice, followed by video calls. Online is the new life line and data the new power. Look around and try to re-organize & reinvent your mindset.
After 25 years of work I am already struggling, thinking about what it is that I can do. The massage chair Looks nice but is it needed or relevant? That should decide what needs to be bought or done. Keeping fixed costs and over heads in control is a lesson I learnt early in life which has been useful always. I suggest a small WFH office corner, a reasonably tight control on non-essential spending, more net working with colleagues, customers & friends, active looking for leads by reading print media/social media & listening to related content. Cold calling & persistent follow up with not so familiar / known people / co.’s will be important for target audience. Co’s have found a reason to say NOT Needed & that is fine. I have to find the reason to keep offering a product / service with a ‘persist or perish’ approach and am sure some will say YES. Accepting the new normal & taking your own time to fall in line is the right thing to do unless you have a chance to become comfortable with fear & laziness as that seems the safer option- This applies to the customers you are following up with too, as they are going through their anxieties & pressures.
Re-organizing myself, I am offering pro bono coaching services, talks on ATM for happiness to different groups for dealing with their anxieties and concerns, connecting with old/new clients to generally keep in touch, practicing for my podcast/tv show/radio talk, keeping myself in better physical fitness, doing my bit to care, share, listen or speak to people as and when I feel they need it; upgrading my laptop & phone so that I have better quality of output, having better commercials wherein people can pay after performance within a pre-agreed range; ear marking areas & customers therein so when I visit I can finish as many more people in that side on that very day. Keeping a ‘To Do’ list of small pending things helps me be engaged whenever I am losing hope or feeling anxious. You can add exercise/taking a deep breath 10 times/having chocolate / helping the needy as a volunteer / making some call or visits to some old people who need just your company as they are great mood changers. Keeping fixed costs and overheads in control helps too.
E.g. A regional manager in an insurance company, who was a lifer, already 52 years has been laid off. Peace is gone and he feels that the whole world has let him down. A loyal employee in the same company for life time, this was unexpected. His children need his support & his wife has a part time role to continue. For him he is no longer worth anything for anyone as he does not know much. I listened and then dug deeper into his skills & knowledge to know that he was an expert in CRM. I then suggested that why not he find a gap that he knows exists- something his customers would benefit from as he knows the job. Filling up the online claim form for processing claims & the delay in approval was a matter of importance. He visited most people and offered his services for a token fee. A customer from the past offered him a retainer as he was well connected. Hope starting looking up. Keep sowing the seeds- some will grow, some won’t- and that’s fine. No point in watering the wrong weeds.
He was mindful of not criticizing his past employer as he knew that it was not a willful sacking but a survival decision for the company & they had given him his full dues with a lifelong medical cover. Being comfortable with uncertainty is not easy yet in such a situation there is no way out.
Looking around for maybe more than one Unique selling proposition as the offerings from competition are going to be very sharp / value for money propositions. Each one of us has some unique strengths it’s time to play with full force on them with persist or perish approach. Happy days will soon be there again till then enjoy as this time will not come back.
Apply the ATM for Happiness i.e.
A – Accept & Acknowledge
T- Take charge & Communicate
M – Make the Most of what you have & Act on it
Author: Naveen Khajanchi is an alumnus of INSEAD. He is CEO of NKH Foundation Pvt. Ltd. which is into Leadership Search, Executive Coaching & Training for leaders of Large Corporates.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal observations and have no semblance to any event or meant to hurt any individual or communities on their personal beliefs. The article contains references to publicly available material for which due credit goes to the originator.