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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  Planning and Managing Your Online Freelancing Business

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Planning and Managing Your Online Freelancing Business
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Matching Your Skills to the Internet Freelancing Market
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Identifying Your Internet Freelancing Skills and Work Disciplines
“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3

In the introduction we looked at the matter of assessing your skills to determine if online freelancing is likely to be a good career option. Presumably you’ve decided that it is, or you wouldn’t still be reading this Guide. However, now that you’re actually ready to begin freelancing, you should undertake this process again in a bit more detail. The idea is to explore your skill base further and determine how well your skills match those that are in demand by outsourcing clients, and then select work disciplines that make sense for you while fulfilling customer needs.

The value of this exercise will depend on a number of factors, notably how much experience you already have with freelancing; your total number of years in the workforce; and the characteristics of the field where you ply your trade. Those who are just starting out in the business world will definitely want to spend some time researching the marketplace. Paradoxically, though, I’ve found that the contractors with the longest “real world” resumes often need to spend just as much time on this, or more, as they adjust to the differing realities of the online world.

In this brief introductory section to the planning and management chapter, I’ll discuss how to analyze your skills and identify work disciplines that make sense for your freelancing career. I’ll first look at work skills and the process by which you can determine how well they mesh with industry demands. Then I’ll discuss primary and secondary disciplines, which are the main areas where you will do your freelancing work. Finally, we’ll look at supplemental and alternative disciplines, which can provide resourceful freelancers with additional oppor­tunity to grow their careers or earn extra money.

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