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10 personality traits for successful IT freelancersDorien Jorissen
Most people know that hard skills are of the utmost importance to IT freelancers. However, you shouldn’t underestimate their soft skills either. Freelancers need to prove themselves again and again for each new project, so they should have a good attitude and great personal skills. During their encounters with consultants, IT MATCH was able to determine 10 personality traits that successful IT freelancers need. Do you recognize yourself in these characteristics?
First of all, IT freelancers need to belief in themselves and the skills that they have mastered over the years.
Clients are hiring freelancers to become an expert within their project team. Therefore, they should be able to convey confidence in their field of expertise. And since IT consultants need to be the best version of themselves for each new project, confidence is a must. Every successful project will increase the belief in themselves, but they should be able to sell their skills from the start.
By the way, confidence as a freelancer also means you’re not afraid to take on challenging, sometimes even unreasonable, requests!
2. Communication skills
As part of a project team, communication skills are crucial to improve collaboration. Delivering quality software at the end of the assignment is only possible by working well together.
Initially, freelancers need to be good listeners to understand what the client wants exactly. They need to make sure that the customer trusts them and their skills for a good collaboration. During the project, IT consultants should communicate well with the other members on their project team. Aligning ideas and providing feedback leads to better results after all.
Another place where communication skills come into view are networking events. To get new projects, a freelancer needs to convince potential customers and set them at ease about his/her expertise. And you never know when a good relationship with other freelancers comes in handy!
Also self-discipline is a must have among the personality traits for IT freelancers.
Consultants have to take on enough projects to sustain themselves and their lifestyle. They need the discipline to always look for new, valuable projects. This way, they can maintain a good flow of assignments and build a strong resume for the future. However, freelancers should also keep their work-life balance in mind by making good agreements with customers!
One of the freelance benefits certainly is not having a boss anymore. However, it’s still a good idea to (temporarily) become part of their client’s corporate culture. By following the rules and agreements of the customer, fulfilling an assignment will only become easier.
4. Management skills
IT freelancers need management skills, because they are in fact their very own project managers.
It’s important for them to manage all parts of their professional life: from social security to insurances, from the information on their computer to budget planning for the future. Freelancers also shouldn’t forget to keep track of their smaller projects, besides the main service they provide for a customer at his office!
Clients only want to collaborate with people that they can trust. Responsibility is therefore one of the must-have personality traits for IT freelancers.
Freelancers need the intrinsic motivation to complete an assignment on time and according to the agreements. Customers depend on them after all! So, focusing on their tasks, keeping track of the deadlines that they agreed on with their clients and delivering quality is key. Perfectionism is not a bad trait for a freelancer either!
6. Willingness to learn
For IT consultants, it’s never a bad idea to learn new skills. They should always keep looking for new ways to improve themselves and their skills through trainings, workshops and feedback. Everyone knows that the IT sector is a fast-moving and fast-changing world full of innovation. To stay part of it, you have to continue learning about new subjects and technologies for their projects.
Depending on the project IT freelancers need more or less knowledge about the newest technologies. But they need to make sure that they don’t keep working with old technology! It may hurt them in the future, while looking for new projects!
Discretion is a crucial asset for many freelancers, but in particular for consultants in the IT sector.
Since they provide services for different projects, they need to keep confidential information from their clients to themselves. They are not allowed to spread information regarding business of their clients or the technology used.
In the freelance world, flexibility is one of those personality traits with 2 very different sides.
First of all, flexibility stands for being free to choose your own projects as a consultant. IT freelancers use this freedom to only take on projects that they actually like or that are perfect for them.
Bur flexibility also has another side to it. Freelancers should be flexible towards their clients too. This includes going along with their wishes, keeping to their work schedule and working at their office, if necessary.
Freelancers always need to act professional towards their clients. But how do you do that?
Everything starts with negotiating the right contract for both the freelancer and his client. Together they need to make sure that their contract contains all necessary information and the expectations from both parties. A consultant should keep to this agreement and truly be an expert in their promised field of expertise.
Professionalism also entails being able to deal with unexpected circumstances, different personalities and changing requests. Freelancers know how to stay patient and cool both under pressure and during conflicts.
10. Be fun
And last, but certainly not least: be fun! Getting along with project team members, joking together and just being positive are a great start. Bringing pie on the first day of your new assignment is always a good idea too!
More questions? Interested in other topics?
Do you have any questions about these topics or curious about other subjects that are important for freelancers? Send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or reply at this blog!