In Ask Sherry, Career, Discussions, Entrepreneurs, Salary

Ask Sherry: Keeping freelance skills sharp in between contracts

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I’ve been enjoying your blog for about a year now. One of the things I find most interesting is how you alternate time working with time at home or traveling. Could you discuss how you keep your work skills sharp during your time off? All the best and happy holidays.

Thank you for reading!

Quick note — I actually don’t travel much now because of Baby Bun, and I am a temporary stay at home mother in between contracts. 😉

That’s actually a really good question about I keep your work skills sharp. Can I say that running and managing a toddler really makes you learn how to control your temper and learn lessons in patience & anger management?

Just kidding.

My technical skills aren’t really out of date until at least 2-3 years being out of the business, and I am never without a contract for so long, so that part is not such a big deal.

That said, if you are asking about the length of time in between my contracts and you’re wondering how I stay up to date, I review over my past projects and notes every 3 to 6 months to refresh my memory, and to stay current, I keep in touch with other freelancers.

Honestly, I don’t sweat about it because even if I forget things, I know I have it written down somewhere, so I just go back to refer to an old project where I did X, Y and Z, and then study up on it to refresh my memory.

I also flip through reference books, and keep in touch with colleagues to answer or ask questions about the industry. That tends to keep my brain alive.

Every project is different, which is also why I don’t bother trying to keep on top of things all the time. My brain is a big Pensieve*. I pick out what I need when I need it because I’ll hear something or be asked a question and it’ll trigger a memory of WHERE I did it, and then I’ll just go look it up in my notes…

When my time is off, I really try to take the time off and avoid working on industry stuff. I need the mental break, and after a week or two back on the job, I tend to fall right back into it in a snap.

*Harry Potter reference to Dumbledore’s Memory Bowl.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Posted on September 7, 2016

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  1. Kianna

    Site is much better now.
    Previous would take forever to load and the sidebar would block most of the text.
    No issues since you removed the sidebar. Thanks for listening making changes based on your reader needs- it’s appreciated.

    Also I love your blog. I read it every night with my tea. Reminds me what my focus is and gives me some new idea. Keep up the good work.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I am so happy to hear that!!! I was thinking last night that you might not be using my mobile theme 🙂 if you scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on MOBILE it might be MUCH easier on an iPhone. I shouldn’t have huge ads on a mobile theme but if you are on a desktop theme then you will see them.

      I really appreciate the feedback. Thank YOU for being a reader and letting me know. I want you and everyone to feel free to tell me what you want/need in the future please 🙂

      Have a great day and thanks for reading 😀

    2. Alexis

      I read it every morning with my tea! 🙂


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Save. Spend. Splurge.
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