I was reading an article the other day and it got me thinking: “how often do freelancers get recognized?”
I honestly don’t know the answer to this question. I wonder what your experience is. How do you feel working on your own, meeting clients’ needs, complying with deadlines, working extra hours and never receiving a compliment?
Normally when you work in a company there are different ways to acknowledge and praise an employee. This could be done in various ways such as a written recognition, a verbal one; you can be assigned to a special project honoring your skills and potential. Or you may be selected as a top performer and therefore participate in meetings, unique beta testing assignments, business trips, etc. Also you may be promoted, and many times you may receive a pay raise as a reward for your efficient and committed performance towards the company´s objectives.
In other words, there is a sense of gratification in which you feel that your contribution to the company’s success is appreciated and compensated through recognition.
All of this made me think about a freelancer’s lifestyle and how much it may affect us as individuals to work on our own and depend almost exclusively on our clients’ feedback. Based on conversations with fellow freelancers my impression is that the majority of times we receive complaints and negative feedback rather than positive comments. Clients tend to express their dissatisfaction and just barely express how pleased they are when a project is completed exactly as they expected.
What I realized is that, personally, setting goals and achieving them allows me to gain confidence and a sense of achievement and in return a personal gratification. I haven’t felt the need to be recognized by others because I have detected that setting my goals and leading my work on my own premises has taken me to where I want to be. That is on its own a growth opportunity that fulfills me.
I feel that setting goals as a freelancer helps you focus and know how to lead your business; in addition to that it is a way to self-motivate yourself and nothing can derail you because you have a clear vision. All together this is what may help you feel a sense of development and therefore recognize yourself as an achiever without depending on what others say.
Of course, I can’t deny that it does help to receive positive feedback from clients, at least from time to time. Commonly, it has happened when clients feel I´ve exceeded their expectations.
How do you cope with this part of freelancing? Is it important for you to be recognized? Does it matter if someone compliments your work?