Note: This entry originally started out as a reply to a Facebook wall post about succeeding in the Web Design & Development world, but I decided to take it to the next level. I hope you enjoy.
I am 23 years old and my life revolves around freelance. As a matter of fact, I recently formed a business around it, and things are getting better, and better. What's the secret? DON'T GIVE UP AND KEEP TRYING.
You said you're developing your skills? Excellent, keep doing so and never stop. Network with people. Attend local meetups about design, development, and fields relative to yours. Have an identity on the web – a portfolio and blog of sorts. If you don't already have business cards that you carry with you EVERYWHERE you go, do it asap!
Regularly check design/development specific job boards. Authentic Jobs and Krop are some of them. Keep up with trends, what's hot and emerging on the web, and the ever-changing job requirements of employers. The web industry is one of the most rapidly changing, evolving, and growing. Continue reading...
Personally, networking and word of mouth have been the NUMBER ONE aspect of finding work and growing my business. Don't listen to the external forces of pressure, and move at your own comfortable (yet reasonable) pace, doing only what you love, while never seizing to constantly educate yourself. To put things in perspective, I am still living with my parents, which has been very difficult for me as of late, but I am slowly progressing towards bigger and better things, including finding an apartment and/or office space.
Having lived in NYC for most of my life, one of the things I am considering is relocation. As I creep up to a quarter century of life, I feel I haven't experienced enough of the world – not even through travelling. To me, success isn't just about money, but also the wealth of global culture, food, language, nature, and most importantly, experiences.
Some inevitable forces of life halt us from doing what we truly love. These forces include but are not limited to our environment, family, traditions, and religion. Sometimes life doesn't give us the opportunities we need to succeed doing what we love. However, understanding and trying to change things can make a world of a difference.
I learned from a wise man to always try to do work that's meaningful to you, and not waste time pursuing other people's dreams.
"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." - Steve Jobs