The Way We Work
December 28, 2010 by Tamara Rice

A year of contract work is ending and another is about to begin. It's the perfect time to think in detail about what you are doing and how you are doing it.

Ask yourself the following six questions, and write down your answers. These are designed to help you think through what you want from your contract work career. (We've even provided sample answers to help you out!) The key is to stay specific and stick with short, one-sentence or one-word answers.

1. How would you like your contracting career to be different at the end of 2011? (I'd like to add photoshop skills to my resume.)

2. How would you like to be perceived by your employers? (I want to be known as the SEO expert with the best writing skills around.)

3. What can you improve in your daily work routine? (It's time to start keeping set office hours and keeping a calendar of deadlines.)

2011 mission statement4. What did you do really well in 2010? (I negotiated a rate increase with two employers.)

5. What do you like about your contracting career? (I love being able to give myself a raise!)

6. What is important to you in life? (It's really important to me to spend time with my dad.)

So, you've answered these six questions about your work life, now what? Go back over your answers several times. Then try to summarize the things you've discovered about your year and about what you want - in just two or three sentences. Together, these sentences make up your mission statement for 2011.

For example, using the sample answers we gave above, our mission statement might look something like this:

2011 mission statement threeIn 2011, I will begin to keep office hours and will do whatever it takes to meet deadlines. I'll negotiate a rate increase with at least two more employers based on the value I give them as an SEO and writing expert. I will take an online photoshop course in order to add this skill to my resume, and I will increase my overall sense of fulfillment by doing the thing I realize is most important to me in 2011: spending more time with my father.

How was your 2010 and how will you change things up for 2011? Let us know how your own mission statement shaped up in the comments below.

Tamara Rice

Freelance Writer and Editor

Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.

  • http://rants.andreobrown.com Andre O. Brown

    So, it's 2012! I'd love to know how everyone fared in their goals for 2011. I'll start: I definitely achieved some of the goals I set in building my freelancing career. I had two specific skills which I wanted to add, but didn't get to. But I achieved some solid things!

    Thanks for a great article Tamara. Do you have an updated one for 2012?

  • Pingback: 6 intrebari pentru succes in 2011 | ro-Stire

  • rachid

    I shall be a programmer successfully end 2011.
    I want to be expert in wordpress ,php,mysql ,joomla and blogspot.
    I shall start my work in time and end just time.
    I have successful in php and mysql.
    I love my software development career.
    It

  • http://www.odesk.com Lorena Fulo

    well for the year 2011, I want to experience new job aside from my daily job. I want to be perceived by my employer as an honest person.. what I did best last year I guess being understanding to my students. I like in contracting career to improve my english proficiency. what is important in my life, of course my family.

  • http://www.odesk.com/blog Tamara

    Thanks for sharing your own ideas for 2011! It makes us all think. Keep the comments coming, as we can learn so much from each other and each other's mission statements for 2011!

  • http://http//mindanaosherald.blogspotr.com/ Janet An Braza

    I JUST CAN'T SAY ANYTHING TO BAD OR CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTARY. BUT AM DOING MY BEST.

  • Inam Rahim

    I joined odesk recently after retirement from 38 years of service in International Airlines and related industries, I am trying for my first job, I can write on quite a few subjects of interest and also work as consultant, researcher and problem resolving advisor.
    Questions related to previous working experience are good but do not apply in my case, may be next year I will be in a position to comment.

  • zayyan

    . How would you like your contracting career to be different at the end of 2011?
    i want to start up a full time work with odesk.

    How would you like to be perceived by your employers?
    I want to get started up first and then continue my work with a good wage .

    . What can you improve in your daily work routine?
    I could increase my working time and erase out deadlines..

    What did you do really well in 2010?
    I heard about genuine odesk, and came up to it for a secured income for working on our ease.

    What do you like about your contracting career?
    I love to give myself a relaxed time.And from the ease of my home, work for money and knowledge even in my pyjamas.

    What is important to you in life?
    My love and my small son.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dev2010/ Dev moorthi

    Here is the freedom
    Relax
    What I need!
    Almost here is everything that what I want...!

    There is no border...
    no boss...
    I can manage my border
    and I am the boss myself...

    I love to work with oDesk and will not leave here ....!

    oDesk changed my life in to a bright, successful, beautiful, free and reach life...!

    I'm with oDesk until I die...!

  • http://www.triatlon.com.uy/triatlon Nando

    It seems to me that the questions are in somewhat reversal order.
    First I ask about what is important in my life from family to relationships and every goal I think is worth it. With that defined I set the target and expectations to get there, work included. Work is one way to get what you want.
    It sound little strange to set my work goals before my expectations.

    Thanks for the post. It made me think.

  • Tatiana

    I want to have more work and more money... :)

  • http://www.odesk.com/users/~~614a57c00d3e8684 Tamara Hilen

    1. By the end of 2011

    By the end of 2011 I will be a brilliantly successful freelance video producer, researcher and translator working from Argentina for employers worldwide!

    2. Perceived by employers

    I would like to be perceived as the provider I work hard to be: Reliable, Professional, Independent, Resourceful, Creative and all-around Excellent

    3. Improvement of daily work routine

    I will aim to complete jobs way ahead of deadline

    4. Did really well in 2010

    I became part of the online working community.

    5. Likes about contracting career

    The possibility to work in such interesting projects, their variety; and to work with people form different cultures and backgrounds.

    6. What's important in life

    To make a good living working from the peacefulness of my own home, next to my husband, and holding the reins of my destiny through building a career that's always challenging and exciting.

  • http://yahoo.massenger michelleambat

    How would you like your contracting career to be different at the end of 2011?
    I would like to start my year 2011 in having a part-time/full time job in this company.
    How would you like to be perceived by your employers?
    I want to have a good relationship with them and always have a negotiable rate.
    What can you improve in your daily work routine?
    I must put myself into avoid reaching deadlines.
    What did you do really well in 2010?
    I did well in 2010, in handling my small business which is buy and sell.
    What do you like about your contracting career?
    I want to develop or enhance my knowledge
    What is important to you in life?
    It's really important to me spending time with my children

  • http://yahoo.massenger michelleambat

    How would you like your contracting career to be different at the end of 2011?
    I would like to start my year 2011 in having a part-time/full time job in this company.
    How would you like to be perceived by your employers?
    I want to have a good relationship with them and always have a negotiable rate.
    What can you improve in your daily work routine?
    I most put myself into avoid reaching deadlines.
    What did you do really well in 2010?
    I did well in 2010, in handling my small business which is buy and sell.
    What do you like about your contracting career?
    I want to develop or enhance my knowledge
    What is important to you in life?
    It's really important to me spending time with my children

  • http://extremeview.wordpress.com Musa

    these are good questions to evaluate ourself!
    i appreciate these suggestions to measure ourself.

  • amit

    do not take yourself so seriously....... enjoy life while working!

  • http://www.worlditfoundation.org.bd Md. Abul Fazal

    I shall be a programmer successfully end 2011.
    I want to be expert in wordpress ,php,mysql ,joomla and blogspot.
    I shall start my work in time and end just time.
    I have successful in php and mysql.
    I love my software development career.
    It

  • http://yahoo.massenger michelle

    in 2011 i will begin to keep my office hour and I

  • http://www.designgama.com Agnes Gospodinova

    In 2011 I want to get the opportunity to work in oDesk and won the reputation and standing.
    I needed time to realize what they can offer employers with my skills and I realized that I could be useful in print design, web applications, web design - projects, banners, logo design, illustrations and 3D modeling.
    My tasks, and the following year will be
    to continuously improve my English
    to learn Adobe Flash, so I can offer more comprehensive services.
    On a personal level to support my son and be more time with him.
    Successful New Year to all.

  • http://www.msrthreesecurity.com haridas mandal

    For the past one year i was trying hard to crack O'Desk to offer my services for a suitable employer but of no avail.My efforts were however piece-meal post retirement from 24x7 Army job in the Corps of EME. This year I am little more focussed and would like to get my first break( as i am yet to get a single contract as on date).
    There is however some difficulties I face being located in India. None of the jobs on offered are India specific hence I am yet to grasp the concept.
    I would request O'Desk support team to get me educated in the nitty gritties so that vast my vast experiences do not remain under utilised.
    Happy New Year to one and all.
    Haridas Mandal
    India

  • http://julesmariano.com jules

    Thoughtful post. I'd definitely follow what you've written. Thanks!

  • http://www.lovebiltong.co.uk/biltong/garlic.html garlic biltong

    Thanks for sharing ideas I am at the moment in the process of starting my own business and have found the articles on this site really helpfull.

  • http://twitter.com/Marnee_Masales Marnee Masales

    Thank you for sharing. Great questions for us to ask ourselves.

  • Andre O. Brown

    I love this! Excellent suggestions which I will definitely use and share. Yet another good article Tamara.

  • Janell Williams

    These are great questions and things to consider. Thank you for sharing these ideas.