You are in charge of your career, whether you are employed in a job or running your own business. An advisory board, whether formal or informal, lasting or ad hoc, helps you direct and grow your career into something that meets your needs and makes you happy to get to work day after day. Your advisory board may be assembled to meet a current need, or to work on long-term goals. It should change as needed: new people, new roles, new goals. It should also change as a matter of course. That helps to keep from burning out advisors and keeps a fresh perspective on your business; three to eight years is best practice.
Advisors for Business
If you’re an employee, your business advisor is the person who helps you see your career trajectory. Employees can also benefit from the same advisors a freelancer does.
If you’re running your own freelance business, you’ll need these advisors on your roster:
- technological (computer related)
Interpersonal addresses areas of client relations, negotiation, and maybe even author queries—though that falls more into the next sort of advisory group.
Advisors for Editing Skills
Even if you’re an employee, you need to be building your editing skills. Building skills helps you avoid a rut, increases job satisfaction, and helps you advance or even just maintain your position. As the Red Queen said “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
Getting somewhere doesn’t have to mean changing jobs or even changing tasks. It can mean doing your job faster or more consistently, or filling in the knowledge gaps you may not even be aware of. Look for people who can advise you in these areas:
- writer relations
To get the most out of advisors and leave them liking this experience, be prepared to get challenged. Don’t reject suggestions without sitting with them for a while. You can learn the most from the advice that aggravates you. Maybe what you learn is how to better convey your circumstances and goals, or maybe you get past the reaction and see what diamond dust there is in their advice that will help you break through limitations.
In the next instalment, we’ll talk about where to find advisors and how to approach them.
Do you already have some advisors you turn to? Are they aware of their role? What kind of advisors do you need to add to the roster? Log in to leave a comment, or join the discussion over on Facebook or Twitter.