Many won’t remember, but the headline for this post was the title of a very popular career book. The title implies you should be planning ahead before a career change is thrust upon you. I can’t think of any better advice in today’s screwball economy.
There are plenty of freelance writing advice books out there advising you not to put all your freelance eggs in one basket; this advice was never more relevant than it is now. How many income sources do you have as a fulltime freelancer? How many of them do you expect to have in six months? Are some of them looking a bit shaky lately? If so, it’s time to start branching out–find some new potential clients or sources for work BEFORE you get the bad news and you’ll be able to transition from a sinking ship to something with a bit more stability.
There are a couple of ways to do this–one of the best is to send out letters of introduction to potential clients and let them know you’re available for work. Even if you have a full plate at the moment, you make yourself known–and chances are there might be a small delay between the time a future client actually gets back to you anyway. If a current lucrative gig suddenly goes south, you can always send a follow-up letter to let them know you have open availability.
Catherine has written elsewhere about letters of introduction, but one thing you should know–the earlier you start, the shorter your lag time could be from the day you find out a source of income has gone away and you pick up a new one.