Why is Upskilling Important for Freelance Proofreaders and Editors?
Upskilling is a popular buzzword in freelance circles. But what exactly does it mean, and why should you consider doing it?
We answer these questions and give tips on how to upskill as a freelance proofreader or editor.
What is Upskilling?
Upskilling is the process of learning new career-related skills or improving the ones you already possess.
It is a type of continuing professional development and can take many forms but generally focuses on bridging the smaller skill gaps necessary to take on new work or improve your performance on the job.
Some examples of upskilling include:
- Learning how to use new software for a specific project
- Taking a short course on digital marketing to help run your online business
- Practicing your listening skills so you can perform better in meetings
Of course, how you choose to go about upskilling will depend on your specific career and circumstances.
The Benefits of Upskilling for Freelancers
Upskilling is necessary for any line of work, but it is an especially useful process for freelancers.
Upskilling as a freelancer can help you:
- Change careers. If you’re thinking of completely switching up your career path, upskilling can help you adapt and expand your current skill set, readying you for your new job.
- Stand out from the crowd. You’ll often be competing with other freelancers worldwide for work and clients. Demonstrating unique or high-level skills will set you apart from your competitors.
- Stay relevant. The job market is constantly changing, and freelancers must deal with fluctuating workloads and inconsistent incomes. Upskilling can keep you ready and adaptable for whatever direction your career takes.
- Earn more for your work. Learning more complex and in-demand skills will allow you to charge increased rates for your services and bag those higher-paying jobs.
- Remain positive, passionate, and productive. Boredom and burnout can affect anyone, including freelancers. By learning new skills, you can approach your work from a fresh direction and avoid losing motivation.
Freelancing is all about flexibility. By upskilling, you can make the most of that freedom.
How to Upskill as a Proofreader or Editor
Now you know why upskilling is a good idea for freelancers, so let’s explore three ways you can do it as a freelance proofreader or editor.
1. Learn at Work
For some people, learning on the job is the most effective way to gain new skills.
If you’re currently working in a job unrelated to editing, consider taking on extra projects or tasks that will develop your transferable skills (such as focus, attention to detail, and communication).
If you’re already freelancing, try branching out with the services you offer to practice more advanced skills.
Before taking on new kinds of work, however, ensure you’ve researched and learned what the different types of editing involve. After all, there’s no point in trying to expand your skill set by taking on work you don’t know how to do.
2. Network with Other Freelancers
Freelance work can sometimes feel isolating, but there’s an international community of freelancers out there who can help you build your skills.
By connecting with your peers, you’ll be more likely to hear about opportunities for upskilling, such as webinars, conferences, internships, and mentorships.
What’s more, contacts who specialize in more niche areas of editing (such as fact-checking or editing for a particular style) may be able to advise you on what skills you’ll need to develop to find work in those areas.
And the more contacts you have in the industry, the more you’ll stay in the loop on the latest updates, such as new editing tools and skills that are increasing in demand.
To learn more about freelance networking, see our blog post, 5 Networking Tips for Freelance Proofreaders.
3. Enroll in an Online Course
Online learning is one of the most flexible learning options and comes with many benefits, including:
- A wide range of subjects and qualifications
- Better options for your budget
- The ability to learn anytime, anywhere
- Frequent updates to help you ensure the training you receive is up to date
For these reasons, enrolling in an online course is a great way to upskill as a freelancer.
And if you’re looking for an online editing course, our Becoming A Proofreader and Becoming An Editor courses offer comprehensive training, whether you’re just starting out or refreshing your current skills.
Try them out for free to see if we can help you upskill.
You don’t have to do everything we’ve listed here—after all, they’re just suggestions. But it’s always a good idea to keep your skills and knowledge of your niche up to date. Work out what would most benefit you, depending on your career goals and what you want to achieve.
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