Own It: Reclaiming Your Professional Identity

I hate to break it to you, but you've been subconsciously downsizing your skill set by linking watered down terms to your professional identity. I'm guilty, too. 

Lately, I’ve noticed the use of these three terms that are hindering our ability to effectively communicate our brand message.

Freelance

Freelance | working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.

I’ve often referred to myself as a ‘freelance copywriter’. I’m now observant of how the term ‘freelance’ is generally perceived by others. People that approach us for services may get the idea that we do 100% pro bono work or we’re willing to accept any project that comes our way. A lot of creatives want to be paid for their services + are allowed to be choosy when taking on new clients.

Independent Contractor | a natural person, business, or corporation that provides goods or services to another entity under terms specified in a contract or within a verbal agreement.

Much better! 

Aspiring

aspiring | directing one's hopes or ambitions toward becoming a specified type of person.

If you have an education or have taken your own time to shape your skill set, you aren’t aspiring to be anything. You already are! By dropping aspiring you are claiming your confidence in your services and your brand. I see this term a lot on LinkedIn profiles.

Declare what you are and what you have to offer. You’ve earned your spot!

Up-and-coming

Up-and-coming | (of a person beginning a particular activity or occupation) making good progress and likely to become successful.

“Likely” doesn’t sound too promising to me. I usually hear this term when it comes to the entertainment field. You’re not an ‘up-and-coming’ artist if you’ve been spending countless hours in the studio crafting your style. Calling yourself an artist will demand attention from others and open the door for them to see what you have to offer.

What are other terms preventing our growth as creatives?