Growth, by plant in handThere is something to be said about the designers that have been around for more than 10 years.  They’ve been through the dot com burst and the bust, but a lot of them are still around to this day.  Still creating new user experiences great cutting edge designs to this day.  How do they do it? How do the newbies to the scene learn and understand the old school ways to then gravitate to the new school tactics? In a word; growth.  Or I should say constant growth.

I think year ago there was a defined line between web designers, developers, and graphic designers.  Projects were done in a sort of assembly line of steps where a project was piped through stages.  Now a days you may find a graphic designer turned web designer, or software developer turned web developer in the same person.  As time changed, the economy changed, and the requirements changed.  So they adapted.

Staying inspired:

This is a good one because if you can find inspiration while working on a project, chances are you’ll be able to lay everything out in good enough detail that you’ll easily be able to plug in the necessary work in a short period of time.  At times, inspiration may come at the rarest times of day or night.  If you’ve been around long enough, these bursts of influence aren’t to be taken lightly!

Creating and sticking to a habit:

A seasoned freelancer will have their typical day scheduled out in advance.  They know what their doing or planning to do hours or days prior to that day.  Phone calls, email checking, researching, book reading, coffee breaks, lunch, etc.  Each part of their day is productive and in some ways scripted.  Otherwise they run the risk of falling behind on projects, losing clients, and eventually loosing business.

Challenging your expertise:

Pushing some of your personal or comfort boundaries is a must.  If you spend too much time doing the casual and normal projects you’ve been doing for the past few years and haven’t embarked on anything new in terms of skill or technology, you run the risk of falling behind.  There may be easier or simpler ways of drafting your designs, or coding your work that could save you time and effort.

Gauging your past projects:

You should be able to look back on your previous work from a year ago, and now and see a big difference of improvement.  It’s a great feeling by the way.  To say to yourself; “Wow, I came a long way from that old project!” If you’re not, spend some time reading some newer books within your trade. Network with some other freelancers in your trade both locally and online.  Also purchase a few subscriptions to some trade magazines; they’re worth the few minutes of reading in your downtime.

Do you have some tactics that you use(d) in your professional career that you’d like to add? We’d love to hear it, so type your comments below.