A few years ago, I was talking with a friend who’d lost her job. It wasn’t her fault at all; they were restructuring the company and downsized her role. She kept saying, “I was so loyal to that company! I can’t believe they did this to me.”
Here’s the thing: The most important thing for a business is the survival of the business. And that’s not just because they’re “profit-hungry” or anything like that, but if that business isn’t focused on success and thriving, the careers of everyone who works for it will be jeopardized.
And that’s okay! But that means there’s one important thing to remember: Your job is never completely secure. You can be loyal, you can work hard, but things outside of your control can happen.
Let’s also talk about someone who emailed me about six months ago. She wanted to be a copywriter, but she was afraid of reaching out to clients. (Which is understandable. Most people are afraid of it…until they do it and see how easy it can be.)
She told me that she was going to rely on those job bidding sites to build her business. I advised against it (for the reasons here, here and here) but it’s her career and she should try it if she felt strongly about it.
Well a few months later, she emailed me again. She told me that I’d been right—she was frustrated with waiting for people to upload jobs, having to undercut her rates, and, especially, having to compete for work. It felt stressful and precarious all the time.
Many people opt for either of these two scenarios (an on-staff job or trying to get work farmed out to them) because they feel safer. More secure.
But here’s the thing: You are most secure when you are in charge of how your money comes in.
And don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking full-time jobs. I’ve held a few in my time and there are plenty of full-time, on-staff copywriting jobs that are completely fulfilling. But no job is ever secure. And with a skill like copywriting, you can always find freelancing clients if you need to pay the bills until you find your next on-staff job. That’s real security.
The point is, when you are in control of prospecting for clients, landing clients, working with clients, and upselling them into more work, you are in control of your finances.
You’re not relying on a semblance of security from a job that can’t make any guarantees about job longevity. You’re not competing with who knows how many other freelancers trying to entice a single prospective client. You’re in control.
And here’s the thing that I think a lot of people miss: Prospecting for clients isn’t even close to hard when you have the right systems in place! Once you’ve got your system, it’s just rinse and repeat. (That’s part of what we teach in the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy.)
So, the choice is between a false sense of security…or a real one. Which one would you prefer?