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Written by: Dean Harrison
Monday, June 22, 2009  RssIcon

When you are full time employed, it seems easier to stay fresh with all the trends and tools that effect your job, but as a contractor it’s quite a bit more challenging. Contractors are under pressure to bill for their hours, and in most cases you can’t bill for research. If I don’t stay up to date with the tools and trends, I know that I am going to struggle down the line, as it is one of my competitive edges. So finding the balance is going to be an important challenge for me, It’s probably going to boil-down to a discipline issue, actually setting aside specific non-billable time to read-up, research and play with the new technologies. The upside is that in doing so I add value to my offering, value that is passed on to my customers and partners. Focusing on specific resources, also helps me in this task, ironically one of the resources I find useful is a magazine in a blog format – www.smashingmagazine.com – it feeds quite a few of my areas of interest from design, web design and tech right through to simple creative resources.

How do you ensure that you stay fresh?

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