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What is the lifetime value of the skill/training you seek?

What is the lifetime value of the skill/training you seek? 5548 3699 Heidi McLean

In today’s ultra-competitive environment, learning skills that are in high demand can up your game and make you ultra-hirable. But what if it’s going to require some sacrifice on your part, like money, time, and energy?

It’s easy to think about the short term cost, but without considering long-term effects, you don’t get the full picture.

Here are some considerations to help you decide if investing in learning a new skill is worth it:

Will this skill make you more hirable/profitable?

Consider whether the training complements your line of work and existing skills sets. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and a wiz kid at Photoshop, you might consider learning your way around Adobe Illustrator. Both are great design tools, but the latter is math-based, allowing you to scale your pieces infinitely without losing any quality. Being well-versed in both allows you to solve more client problems.

Along those lines, consider the questions clients ask frequently. If you find they’re asking for the same thing over and over, you know you’re onto something. The equation is simple: solve more of their problems and you’ll get more of their business.

Think beyond the next month or quarter and into the bigger picture and where your industry is going. Can you be on the front end of an upcoming trend or one in increasing demand? Videographers may want to invest in learning drone skills, for example.

In addition to making you able to solve more problems for clients, adding new programs and platforms to your repertoire sometimes directly adds to your hourly value. If you’re a skilled editor who can also tackle basic motion design and Visual FX with After Effects or sound design with Adobe Audition, you may be able to charge more.     

The more skills you have that apply directly to the job you want or are applying for, the more valuable you are to the employer and the more money you are therefore worth.

A note on the intangible  

Being a Jack or Jill of all trades can be useful, but there’s something to be said for mastering your niche and staying in one focused, clear lane. So if you’re thinking about adding a skill that broadens what you can offer but takes a lot of time or energy away from what you do best, you may consider redirecting resources to your core strengths instead.

There are always the intangible benefits to consider, too. In addition to the financial benefits a new skill may bring you, consider the intangible value. Will it make you more knowledgeable and confident or just plain better at your job? Will it keep you mentally stimulated and therefore, head off burnoff? If so, you may want to invest in learning something new even if seemingly doesn’t relate to your core business at all. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll end up pulling some oddball skill or information out of your hat.  

Bottom Line

Learning some of the most marketable skills of 2018 will give you an edge in the marketplace and thinking about training opportunities in terms of lifetime value can make the decision clearer.

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.

4 Summer blockbuster hits to bring you back to the ’80s

4 Summer blockbuster hits to bring you back to the ’80s 150 150 Heidi McLean

Summers are for grilling out under the golden sun. For chasing fireflies. For lingering on the porch with a cold beer. They’re for homemade blueberry pancakes on Saturday mornings and for stretching out in front of a movie with a bowl of popcorn on Saturday nights.

These 80s summer hits—in all their adventurous, witty, and nostalgic glory—have us pining away for a time machine of our own to take us back to simpler days.

E.T: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

The movie’s effects were top notch for the day, but the story itself was a simple, intimate tale about friendship between an unlikely pair. A lonely kid named Elliot and his oddly adorable pal accomplished the seemingly impossible—melting hearts everywhere and surpassing Star Wars as the highest-grossing movie ever released to date. And if your heart doesn’t glow red when E.T. comes back to life, then I can’t help you.

Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters nails the oft’ attempted genre of the underestimated geek turned unlikely hero. The moment one such lead feels personally betrayed by the “harmless” Stay Puft Man lives on as possibly the penultimate example of a perfect marriage between humor and horror. These ghostbusters came. They saw. They kicked ass. Good luck getting that jingle out of your mind.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The Indiana Jones franchise kicked off with an Oscar-winning blockbuster. Harrison Ford brings his signature nonchalance to the role, including during frequent brushes with death. One such moment seemingly sets Indiana up for an epic fight scene, only to end abruptly…and with great comedic effect. The usually ultra-cool lead shares an ultra-common fear with the rest of us. “Snakes…Why does it always have to be snakes?”

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future is everything we love about the ’80s in one hour-and-a-half-long adventure. Our likable hero (dressed in his Levi’s jeans, jean jacket, puffy vest, and Nike shoes) along with his jumpy, wild-eyed mentor take us on one trippy, time-bending ride. Just when it seems like messing with timelines is going to catch up with him, Marty succeeds in the seemingly impossible and gets a second lease at life. Watch this one for the closest thing you’ll get to time travel. It’s your density. 

May your summer be as epic as these classic flicks! 

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.

 

freelancer

5 skills that will make any freelancer ultra-hirable and profitable

5 skills that will make any freelancer ultra-hirable and profitable 5760 3840 Heidi McLean

Freelancing is a balls to the wall, pride-swallowing siege and these days, it seems everyone is fighting it out for business. How do you make that business yours? One way is to solve the problems clients have (the ones they called you about) and then go even further by solving the ones they haven’t even thought about yet. That’s when you become an advisor clients can’t live without rather than a freelancer they can replace tomorrow.

Every freelancer should seek to be as hirable and desirable as possible in today’s competitive marketplace. Here are 5 of the most coveted skills as well as where you can hone them for free/next to free:

Network and Information Security

With hackers making headlines, it’s no surprise that people who can combat this threat increase their desirability. Whether you’re primarily a writer, video producer, website developer, or designer, being able to offer clients additional peace of mind is priceless. Especially for small businesses, who may not have a team dedicated specifically to security, your expertise adds value and makes you an essential team member. Coursera offers Information Security: Context and Introduction Coursera, LinkedIn Learning offers IT Security Foundations: Network Security, and Udemy offers The Complete Cyber Security Course: Network Security.

Instagram API

There are a lot of ways to use Instagram’s APIfrom turning a website into a living museum to converting sales. Often, companies spend a lot of time creating and posting content, but fail to convert views into action. Add knowledge of Instagram API to your resume and you can become a conversion superhero. Learn more at Consuming the Instagram API by LinkedIn Learning and Build a Photo Web App Using Instagram API (cape not included).

WordPress 

With 50,000 new WordPress sites added daily, the Internet is basically one big WordPress matrix. Even if it’s not their core business, content creators who can build, update, or fix WordPress sites will keep businesses from having to hire additional people. Saving clients money is one surefire way to get in their good graces. Complete WordPress Training for Beginners is a free course that will absolutely give you a return on your time invested.

SEO 

The only thing as constant as change is change itself…and SEO. A clever behind-the-scenes glut of the right words doesn’t get results anymore. SEO has gotten much more sophisticated and tough to crack. The real key is increasing traffic organically. Having the tools to have an intelligent conversation on the subject and being able to point clients toward solutions makes you extra valuable. HubSpot offers a free course and Udemy offers SEO Training Academy: Learn Search Engine Optimization.

Sales Funnels 

Sales funnels are a key to converting all that organic traffic into action. If you already have some knowledge of landing page design and content strategy, ClickFunnels (or something similar) is a great way to take your skills to the next level. You can learn enough about ClickFunnels (which seems to be the tool of the moment) to get you started with Udemy’s course here.

Bottom Line  

If you want to have an edge in the marketplace, it’s time for you to learn some of the most marketable skills of 2018: This is how to make all the dolla dolla bills, y’all.

Note:  General Assembly’s course matching service offers guidance on courses you may benefit from. Additionally, we used this article (where you can find skills we didn’t mention) for many of the resources above.  

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.

home office solutions

Home office solutions for form and function

Home office solutions for form and function 3393 5090 Heidi McLean

The growing number of freelancers and independent contractors in recent years means that more and more people are working from home. While those unable to step away from their desks to do a load of laundry may have a little work-from-home envy, working from home has its challenges, too. A freelancer’s home office that is both inviting and conducive to being able to actually get work done is one of the most important ways to set yourself up for success.

Here are five tips for making your home office a place you want to spend your time:

1. Light up your life

The importance of good lighting cannot be overemphasized. Light your workspace appropriately for your task and also to limit eye strain. These tips, from eye care professionals, are more about function than fashion, but there is no end to lighting options that meet the needs while also allowing you to express your style.

2. Organize and de-clutter

When home offices become collecting places for clutter, you’ll end up resorting to a coffee shop or your dining room table. To combat this, you’ll need some organization techniques to keep everything in order, but don’t neglect the power of organizing’s less glamorous cousin: de-owning. De-own what you don’t need and you’ll free up your mind and creativity for the things that matter.

3. Invest in ergonomics

Sitting all day and staring at a screen is tougher on the body than it seems like it would be, but your body has a way of telling you (usually through pain and strain) that you need to do something differently. Consider ergonomic desks and monitors that allow you to look straight ahead. Here are some quick tips and OSHA provides a thorough checklist for safety in the office. Invest in your body’s future with exactly what you’ll need to be comfortable and position your body for success.

4. Accommodate your unique needs

If your space will never host a client or an overnight guest, feel free to make it a place just for you — even if that means including a spot for productivity-boosting naps. If, on the other hand, you’re going to have client meetings or use the space for multiple purposes, be sure you include the elements you’ll need to keep it from feeling like your clients are stepping into your bedroom.

5. And finally, add your style

The possibilities here are endless, but if you’re going to spend most of your awake time in your space, you should totally love it. Part of the benefit of working from home is being able to make it your own personalized home office. Here are some design tips/ideas and inspirational visual galleries for making your home office truly yours.

The bottom line

In her early days, J.K. Rowling wrote anonymously at a cafe and Stephen King set up a makeshift workspace in his laundry room. You don’t have to have a home office to get work done. Still, if you’re going to go to the trouble and expense of having a home office, make it worth it. Invest in lighting, workspace tools, and decor that make it functional and inviting. Because what’s the point of having a home office if you’re always escaping to work elsewhere?

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.